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Dr. LaVerne E. Ragster Receives Two Paul Harris Awards

Two St. Thomas Rotary clubs honored UVI President Dr. LaVerne E. Ragster last weekend by naming her a Paul Harris Fellow.

Paul Harris Fellow recognition was created in memory of Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary, as a way to show appreciation for contributions to the Foundation's charitable and educational programs. Rotarians often designate a Paul Harris Fellow as a tribute to a person whose life has demonstrated a shared purpose with the objectives of The Rotary Foundation. The designation as a Paul Harris Fellow denotes that a donation of $1,000 has been made to the Rotary Foundation in the awardee's name.

"Being recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow is a wonderful indication of the level of connectivity that the University is beginning to have with the community it serves," Dr. Ragster said. "I am honored to have been chosen.

The first Paul Harris award on behalf of Dr. Ragster was made by the Rotary Club of St. Thomas. Roger White, president of the Rotary Club of St. Thomas, said the club awarded Dr. Ragster, "in recognition and appreciation of her 16 years in various leadership positions at the University of the Virgin Islands, culminating in her appointment as president."

Berisford Lynch is president of the Rotary Club of St. Thomas II. Dr. Ragster is an honorary member of the club, which also selected her as its Person of the Year in 2004.

"We selected Dr. Ragster (as a Paul Harris Fellow) because of the work that she has done in our community educating our children and securing our future," Lynch said. "It is in honor of her as a role model and all the good work she has done as the president of the University."

Every Paul Harris Fellow receives a pin, medallion and a certificate when he or she becomes a Fellow. This identifies the Paul Harris Fellow as an advocate of the Foundation's goals of world peace and international understanding.