The University of the Virgin Islands will bestow honorary degrees on Theron Thomas and Timothy Thomas, recording industry celebrities known professionally as “Rock City,” and Virgin Islands Election System Supervisor Caroline Fawkes, an aviation trailblazer, at UVI’s 60th Commencement Ceremonies on May 9, and 10, at its St. Thomas and St. Croix campuses, respectively.  

 Hailing from St. Thomas, Theron and Timothy are the dynamic sibling duo known as “R. City” or “Rock City.” Their music, a vibrant fusion of Caribbean influences with hip-hop, rap, and R&B, echoes their journey from a small island to international acclaim. Born into a musically inclined family, the Thomas brothers honed their craft from a young age, driven by a shared passion for music and storytelling. 

Their professional journey began in the mid-2000s, initially gaining recognition in the Virgin Islands as performers and as prolific songwriters. R. City’s lyrical prowess caught the attention of industry heavyweights, leading to collaborations with some of the world’s leading recording artists. Their songwriting accolades include the chart-topping hit “Pour It Up” for Rihanna, “Run Away Love” for Justin Bieber, “I’m Out” for Ciara and “We Can’t Stop” for Miley Cyrus, showcasing their versatility and knack for creating hits that resonate across diverse audiences. 

In 2015, R. City released their debut album, “What Dreams Are Made Of,” which featured the platinum single “Locked Away” featuring Maroon 5’s Adam Levine. This track catapulted them into the spotlight, highlighting not only their songwriting skills but also their vocal talent and charisma as performers. The song’s success on global charts marked a significant milestone in their career, solidifying their status as influential figures in the music industry. In 2022, Theron earned seven Grammy nominations including Best Melodic Rap Performance with Latto’s hit record “Big Energy”. At the 66th Annual Grammy Awards, held in Los Angeles in February 2024, Theron was crowned Songwriter of the Year, Non-Classical for his work with various artists including Lizzo, Tyla, Chris Brown and others throughout 2023.  

Beyond their professional achievements, Theron and Timothy, who were presented with the U.S. Virgin Islands Keys to the City by the Virgin Islands Legislature in 2016, remain deeply connected to their roots in the Virgin Islands and champion the Territory’s beauty and uniqueness wherever they go.  

Theron and Timothy will both be presented with honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees at UVI’s Commencement Ceremony on St. Thomas. 


Caroline Fawkes - Aviation Trailblazer 

At the Albert A. Sheen Campus ceremony, Caroline Fawkes, Supervisor of the Election System of the Virgin Islands, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, honoring her trailblazing accomplishments as an aviator and the role she plays as a mentor and inspiration to the Territory’s youth. 

Fawkes, a native of St. Croix, made history as the first female to pilot the U.S. Army’s C23 Sherpa airplane and the first female state aviation officer in the Army National Guard. Col. Fawkes retired after more than three decades of military service; 4,400 hours of accident-free flight time; and 24 consecutive months of deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Her highest military awards are the Legion of Merit and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal signed by President Barack Obama. Her achievements were lauded by the 19th Legislature of the Virgin Islands through a bill introduced by former Senator Adelbert M. Bryan in 1993, establishing a scholarship in her name for individuals interested in pursuing an aviation degree. 

Her journey into the VI National Guard and aviation, marked by determination and passion, set her apart as she broke barriers in a traditionally male-dominated industry. Fawkes’s interest in aviation was sparked early in her life, driven by a fascination with flight and a desire to push the boundaries of conventional roles assigned to women. 

Fawkes attained her pilot’s license, and her skill, expertise and competence quickly earned her recognition, leading to her role as one of the few female helicopter pilots operating in challenging environments, including being instrumental in emergency and rescue operations, showcasing her ability to perform under pressure while saving lives and providing critical support in times of need. 

Beyond her professional accolades, Caroline Fawkes is deeply committed to mentoring young women interested in aviation, aiming to inspire and empower a new generation to pursue their dreams. Her efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in aviation highlight her belief in equal opportunities and her desire to pave the way for future female aviators. 

Since 2013, she has served as Supervisor of the Election System of the Virgin Islands, where she is responsible for administering and regulating the elections laws of the Territory, certifying the names of candidates to the District Boards, determining sufficiency of nomination petitions, maintaining records of registered voters, and preparing its annual budget. 

The University will host Commencement Ceremonies on Thursday, May 9, 2024, at the Elridge Blake Sports and Fitness Center on the Orville E. Kean Campus on St. Thomas, and on Friday, May 10, 2024, on the grounds of the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix. The ceremonies will begin at 1 p.m. on both dates.  

For more information visit www.uvi.edu or contact pr@uvi.edu.