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UVI Mourns the Loss of First CVI President, Dr. Lawrence Wanlass

On Tuesday, Dec. 18, the first president of the University of the Virgin Islands, Dr. Lawrence Wanlass, passed away in California. He is survived by his wife, Anita, and their four children. For nearly two decades – from 1962 to 1980 – Wanlass worked to establish the then College of the Virgin Islands and to create a world-class curriculum for its students.

UVI President Dr. David Hall, on the behalf of the entire University family – the Board of Trustees, foundation boards, faculty, staff, students, and alumni – extends his sincerest condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of Dr. Wanlass.

“Dr. Wanlass was a true visionary whose tireless work laid the groundwork for the first rank educational institution that the University of the Virgin Islands has become,” said UVI Board of Trustees Chairman Henry Smock. “I know that he followed the development of the University over the years and was very proud of all of its many accomplishments.”

Under Dr. Wanlass’ leadership, the institution was designated with land-grant status and a large endowment was bestowed on the College through federal legislation.  During his tenure, Hubert Sugden donated his St. Croix home, which would become UVI’s Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix and the institution received an endowment for the establishment of the Reichhold Center for the Arts.

“President Wanlass was such an important anchor for this University,” said President Hall. “During my time as president, he would consistently send me notes of encouragement and generosity. He was always proud of what this special institution was able to accomplish. Though I never was able to meet him, I still feel his loss and pray for his family during this difficult time.”

More information is available in a news release on the Media Section of the UVI website – - and from this direct link.