UTech, Jamaica to Confer Honorary Degrees on Four Nation-Builders

L-R: Mr. Noel DaCosta CD, Architect Gordon Gill, Professor the Honourable Oswald Harding OJ and The Honourable Molly Rhone,OJ

Four nation-builders renowned for their achievements in sports administration, science and technology, architecture and the law are scheduled to receive honorary degrees from the University of Technology, Jamaica in recognition of their myriad national and international contributions at the University’s graduation ceremonies to be held November 2 and 3, 2019 at the Papine Campus, St. Andrew.

The University of Technology, Jamaica will confer honorary degrees on Mr. Noel DaCosta CD, renowned Chemical Engineer and on legal luminary,  Professor the Honourable Oswald Harding, OJ on November 2 and on award-winning Architect Gordon Gill and netball stalwart, The Honourable Molly Rhone on November 3, 2019.


Noel DaCosta, Chemical Engineer and Commonwealth Scholar for Jamaica (1969) has received local and international acclaim for his outstanding contribution to the engineering profession. His work in the development of a modern National Building Code for Jamaica is among his significant contributions to the development of Jamaica.  Among his many other accolades is an award for outstanding contribution to the Engineering Profession from the Jamaica Institute of Engineers (2001), a Lifetime Achievement Award from Red Stripe (2004), the designation of Fellow from the Jamaica Institution of Engineers (1996) and the Institution of Chemical Engineers, UK (1989). He was honoured in 2001 by the Caribbean Common Market Standards Council for his contribution to the Council and for the promotion of quality and productivity in manufacturing.

 Law and Governance

Professor Oswald Harding has made a substantial contribution to the development of Jamaica, amassed through over 35 years of outstanding service to the legal profession, business, politics, the diplomatic service and academia.  His career in academia included an appointment as Professor of Law and Philosophy at UTech, Jamaica, Senior Lecturer at McGill University, Lecturer and Tutor at the Norman Manley Law School and Lecturer of Philosophy at the University of the West Indies.  Professor Harding played an instrumental and pioneering role in the establishment of the Faculty of Law at UTech, Jamaica in 2009.  In acknowledgement of his sterling contribution to Jamaica, Professor Harding was awarded the national honour of the Order of Distinction (Commander Class) in 1995 and the Order of Jamaica in 2003.


Architect Gordon Gill’s ecologically conscious philosophy has seen the design of structures that leverage design, technology and natural surroundings to ensure minimal pollution and energy use, and his approach has led to the emergence of a focus on sustainable architecture. From his unique outlook, Arch. Gill designed the first zero-energy skyscraper in Shenzhen, China and the first large scale positive energy structure in Abu Dhabi.

While his Chicago-based firm, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture of which he is founding partner continues to make waves in the international world of architecture, Arch. Gill has not forgotten his Jamaican roots. He has maintained his ties with Jamaica, most recently delivering the UTech, Jamaica Distinguished Lecture, “The Common Sense” of Performance Architecture” in October, 2018 during the University’s 60th Anniversary celebrations.  He has also served as Competition Patron of the Government of Jamaica’s Houses of Parliament Design Competition which concluded in March 2019.

 Architect Gill was elected in 2013 to the College of Fellows at the American Institute of Architects and was the recipient of the 2017 Innovation Award from American Institute of Architects.  


There can be no mistaking the positive impact Molly Rhone has had on the sporting landscape in Jamaica, and indeed, the world. Her passion for sport, and particularly netball, was evident even as young as age 13 years, when she played on the senior team in her childhood home community in Manchester. Her passion, dedication and skill for administration were recognized when she was elected Vice President of the Jamaica Netball Association in 1991 and President in 1993.

Ms Rhone became the first Jamaican to head an international sports organization when she became President of the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA) in 2003.  Her leadership has resulted in community-based sports projects being developed in India and Africa, with the express purpose of empowering women. She has also served as a board member of the International University of the Caribbean (IUC), Management Control Systems and the Jamaican National Olympic Committee.

President, UTech, Jamaica, Professor Stephen Vasciannie, notes that “the University is proud to honour formally these four outstanding nation builders who have achieved local and international distinction in their respective fields of endeavor.  They all serve as distinguished role models for the entire University community and Jamaica as a whole.”


Michelle Beckford (Mrs.)
Corporate Communications Manager
University of Technology, Jamaica
Telephone: 970-5299
Email: mbeckford@utech.edu.jm