Jamaica Gleaner / The University of the West Indies (UWI) community yesterday said it was shocked and saddened by the death of Lowell Hawthorne, who had, since 2011, served as director/partnership board chairman of the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies (AFUWI).
This foundation, based in New York, has been the principal link between the UWI and partners in the United States, including alumni, the Caribbean community, and business interests.
Extending his condolences, Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles said: “This sad and painful development has sent emotional shivers down the souls of many friends and colleagues who will now surround his grieving family with the love and affection he has shown.”
Hawthorne reportedly shot himself in the head inside his company’s Bronx office.
COMMITMENT TO OTHERS
Said Beckles: “Lowell was loved by all of us whose blessing it was to work and socialise with him. His persistent warmth as an accessible person transcended his family and personal relations. His dedication to the cause of the University of the West Indies, for example, was a hallmark of his social commitment to others.
Hawthorne was president and CEO of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill – a family-owned manufacturer, distributor, and franchiser of Caribbean-inspired cuisine. Among the UWI community, he was well regarded, particularly for his long-standing commitment to supporting education through service, mentorship and the sponsorship of scholarships to the UWI and several other institutions. For this he was recognised as one of the AFUWI’s Caribbean Luminaries in 2009 and received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the UWI in 2012.
In the meantime, both Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips have also expressed condolences to Hawthorne’s family and friends.