The Robert Collis Barrow Memorial Scholarship Programme was established to honour the memory of Robert Collis who passed away on August 1st, 2020. Born on June 7th, 1963, Robert Collis Barrow was the last of six children of the late Collis Barrow, originally from Barbados, and Marie Barrow from St. Lucia. He was married to Terese Lucio-Barrow and was a devoted father to his two girls, Alexandra and Kyra.
Collis attended the Anglican Primary School, Saint Mary’s College and the A Level College. He then went on to the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus in 1983 where he pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry and Biology. Collis would continue his studies up to the Doctoral level when in 1994 he obtained his Ph.D. from the UWI. His research thesis, “Tamarind Xylogucan – A study of Hyocotyl Growth and Seed Germination, showed his love for the natural sciences and his scientific inquiring mind as well as his appreciation of the need to understand tropical ecology.
With the Natural Sciences no longer having the allure that it previously had, Collis changed course and ventured into law. He pursued a BSc in law at Cave Hill Campus, UWI (graduated in 2002), and the Legal Education Certificate at Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad and Tobago, graduating in 2004. Though his academic accomplishments were significant, he was quite self-effacing about his achievements, wearing the mantle of his academic honours and his pro bono legal work humbly and few knew that he held the highest academic accolade.
Collis by nature was modest yet he had a big personality, with a phenomenal sense of humour as those who knew him would attest. He was very supportive of the down trodden and deeply committed to improving the academic and other career possibilities of people around him. He was an academic mentor to many, and was always concerned with bringing out the brilliance in friends as well as passing acquaintances.