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Alfred Heath Lecture Series Panel to Examine V.I. History and Families

The University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) will host its annual Alfred O. Heath lecture at 6 p.m., Tuesday, April 18, on the Albert A. Sheen Campus, St. Croix and Wednesday, April 19, on the St. Thomas Campus.

“In the spirit of the Alfred Heath Lecture Series and in the essence of the Centennial Celebration, we are highlighting notable Virgin Islands families and their history” said Vice President of Institutional Advancement Mitchell Neaves. 

The lecture will consist of two panels of five well-known Virgin Islanders telling their history and family history.

“The panelists will give … facts that most people did not know and explain how they became who they are today,” said Neaves. “This will give the audience a look into the lives of the people and families that have helped make the Virgin Islands what it is today.”

The panelists on St. Croix:

  • Gervel Larson, local award winning architect and a member of a multi-generational family, the Larsons
  • Hans Laewetz, president of Friends of Denmark. Multi-generational Danish Crucian.
  • Stanley Jacobs, Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Nights
  • Dr. Dante Galiber, local physician with connections to both St. Croix and St. Thomas. Member of two multi-generational families, the Lewises and the Galibers.
  • Donald Nelthropp, past president of Cruzan Rum; the distillery dates back to 1760 and has been in continuous operation since prohibition ended. The Nelthropps became partners of the distillery in 1953 and have been running the facility for the last 50 years. Today, the distillery is the home of Cruzan® Rum.

The panelists on St. Thomas:

  • Dr. Gilbert Sprauve, retired UVI humanities professor
  • Joseph Sibilly Jr., member of the Sibilly family, who will speak about his family and his father Leo Sibilly Sr., a well-known businessman, community leader and the first king of the St. Thomas Carnival. His grandfather was the first major land owner of Caribbean- French descent.
  • Ronnie Lockhart, a member of the Lockhart multi-generational family with connections to both St. Thomas and St. Croix.
  • Dr. Orville Kean, third UVI president and UVI President Emeritus
  • Dr. Gwen Marie Moolenaar, the first black woman in the United States to earn a doctorate in neurophysiology and a member of a multi-generational family, the Moolenaars.

The panel discussion will be held in the Great Hall on the Sheen Campus and in the Administration and Conference Center Building on the St. Thomas Campus.  The lecture is free and open to the public.

The Alfred O. Heath Distinguished Lecture Series offers the public a setting in which to hear nationally and internationally recognized individuals discuss issues related to the challenges and opportunities faced by the global community. The series is the university’s way of recognizing the outstanding person and accomplished citizen who is Dr. Alfred O. Heath. As a UVI trustee emeritus and chair of the Foundation for the University of the Virgin Islands, Dr. Heath is an ardent, longtime supporter of the mission of UVI.

Previous Alfred Health lecturers have included Thurgood Marshall, Supreme Court justice; Dr. Joyce Payne, College Fund founder; actor Charles Dutton, actor; Susan Taylor, publisher and editor; and Charles Ogletree, attorney and presidential advisor.

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