University of the Virgin Islands

University of the Virgin Islands

University of the Virgin Islands seal
Motto Historically American. Uniquely Caribbean. Globally Interactive.
Established 1962
Type Public, HBCU
President David Hall, JD
Academic staff 107
Admin. staff 450
Students 2,392[1]
Location St. Croix & St. Thomas,
United States Virgin Islands
Former names College of the Virgin Islands
Athletics NCAA
Sports basketball
track and field
cross country
table tennis
Nickname Buccaneers or Lady Buccaneers
Affiliations Caribbean University Sports Association
Liga Atlética Interuniversitaria
UVI Name.gif

The University of the Virgin Islands (or UVI) is a public university located in the United States Virgin Islands.



The university has five academic divisions: Business, Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, Nursing, and Science and Mathematics. UVI offers several graduate degree programs and undergraduate degree programs. The graduate programs consist of a Specialist Degree in Education Specialist in School Psychology and five Masters Degrees in the following: Master of Arts in Education, Master of Arts in Mathematics for Secondary Teachers, Master of Business Administration, Master of Marine and Environmental Science,Master of Psychology and Master of Public Administration. The Undergraduate Degree Programs are divided into several categories: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Associate of Arts , Associate of Science, and Associate of Applied Science.

Its liberal arts curriculum is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. In addition, the university works diligently and strategically to recruit local, national and international students to broaden and create a diversified student population, as 94% of its current students are natives of the US Virgin Islands.

The university also has several strong[citation needed] academic programs under its College of Science and Mathematics. One of these is a 3-2 engineering program where students attend UVI for three years and then transfer to either Columbia University, the University of Florida, Washington University in St. Louis, or the University of South Carolina (Columbia) to complete the last two years of their engineering studies. After successfully completing the program, students will acquire a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics from UVI and a Bachelor of Science in their specialization of engineering from the partner university.

The university also has an early medical school selection program with Boston University which affords selected students to study for three years at UVI and then transfer to Boston University Medical School in their senior year where they are afforded the opportunity to take medical school courses early. The university also holds several National Science Foundation-funded research grants and programs including MBRS-RISE, SEAGEP, HBCU-UP, and MARC under its Emerging Caribbean Scientist (ECS) program. The mission of the Emerging Caribbean Scientists programs is to increase research training and promote excellence for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) & psychology students at the University of the Virgin Islands. The university fosters research by hosting research symposiums every semester where students are given the opportunity to present research projects conducted both locally and abroad, to the UVI faculty and the Virgin Islands community.

Marine Biology program

The marine biology program attracts students from all parts of the world. The University is right next to John Brewers Bay, which hosts a variety of marine life to study for both undergrad and masters students. Students explore the intertidal marine life in many of the courses offered at UVI as well get opportunities to get aboard the Willie Mac (UVI's largest research vessel) and go island hopping for an afternoon.

National Student Exchange

At UVI, students from around the nation are allowed to participate in a semester or year-long exchange to UVI through the National Student Exchange. Tuition is paid toward either the student's home or host school.


UVI was founded as the College of the Virgin Islands on March 16, 1962. In 1986, it officially became one of the 117 U.S. Historically black colleges and universities. The institution also changed its name in 1986 to the University of the Virgin Islands to reflect the growth and diversification of its academic curriculum, research programs, and regional community services.


The university has two campuses: one on St. Croix and the other on St. Thomas. The latter campus is three miles (5 km) from Charlotte Amalie, the capital of the territory. The St. Thomas campus is situated on two hills and it has its own beach (John Brewer's Bay beach) which can be directly accessed off the main road which cuts through the campus. The majority of the buildings on the St. Thomas campus are made of volcanic rock and cement. This makes the campus not only aesthetically pleasing but it also improves the structural integrity of the structures as the U.S. Virgin Islands are known for experiencing very active hurricane seasons.

Athletic facilities

The campus on St. Thomas boasts a 64,000-square-foot (5,900 m2) Sports and Fitness Center, as well as a golf course, tennis courts, outdoor basketball and volleyball courts, and baseball and soccer fields. The Sports and Fitness Center can seat up to 3,500 people and annually hosts the Paradise Jam tournament for mainland NCAA basketball teams.

On St. Croix, there is an outdoor sports facility equipped with basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts. Also, there is a small exercise gym inside the Student Activities center. St. Croix has large fields in front, and they are usually acceptable for athletic use, but they tend to flood during heavy rain.

Student activities

There are a number of standing committees on both campuses. One prominent standing committee is the Sports Committee, whose current president is Jewelle Ible, Vice President, being Charnele Burton, Treasurer, Nailah Williams,and PRO, Lyle Gumbs.


UVI is a member of the NCAA and the Caribbean University Sports Association. It fields Division II and/or III varsity teams for both men and women in basketball, tennis, volleyball, track and field, cross country, swimming, and table tennis. UVI athletic teams are nicknamed "the Buccaneers."

Currently, the head coach of UVI's men's basketball team is Sean Georges. The interim head coach of the women's basketball team is Curtis Gilpin, Sr.

UVI is a member of the Liga Atlética Interunivuersitaria university league. LAI was established in 1929 and currently consists of the 20 American universities in the Caribbean — 19 in Puerto Rico and the University of the Virgin Islands. As a result, UVI athletes' opponents are often from Puerto Rico, although they play many teams from mainland universities.

UVI offers intramural sport activities during both the fall and spring semesters.

The University of the Virgin Islands host the Paradise Jam tournament in November of every year. Division I and II basketball teams from across the US mainland compete in a men's and women's basketball tournament. The tournament has national coverage and is a major event in the Virgin Islands each year. It also serves as an opportunity for these Division I and II teams to play before the spring season and to witness the beauty that the Virgin Islands have to offer.

The mascot of the University of the Virgin islands is the buccaneer. The school colors are white and blue.

Notable alumni

Name Class year Notability References
Dr. Granville Wrensford former chair of Albany State University's Department of Natural Sciences
Richard Skerritt 1980 UVI's first-ever Rhodes scholar, businessman, and manager of the West Indies cricket team.

External links

Archived copies of the printed versions of UVI Voice fully and openly online in the Digital Library of the Caribbean

Coordinates: 18°20′36″N 64°58′22″W / 18.34342°N 64.97282°W / 18.34342; -64.97282

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