Stellenbosch University (SU)'s top students who excelled in areas such as academics, sports, leadership and social impact were honoured with Rector's Awards for Excellent Achievement on Thursday (5 October 2017). The annual award ceremony took place at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS).
The following students received SU medals for being the top master's student in their respective faculties: Christiane Schaeffler (Arts and Social Sciences); Jadri Barnard (Education); Niel Miller (AgriSciences); Monika du Toit (Economic and Management Sciences); Kari Jonker (Medicine and Health Sciences); Josh Mitchell (Engineering); Sunel de Kock (Science); Cecile van Schalkwyk (Law); and Susan Mellows (Theology).
- Mobile users click here for video
An award for excellence in Community Interaction was given to Tafadzwa Girupira, while Lize-Marie Doubell, Lee Baatjies, Melt Hugo, Khensani Hlongwane and Gideon Basson were honoured for excellence in leadership.
Also among the awardees were Paralympic athlete Dyan Buis and Olympic athlete Justine Palframan who received the Rector's Award for Excellent Sport Achievement.
A special Rector's Award went to Anita Engelbrecht. Suffering from spastic diplegia, Engelbrecht has been in a wheelchair all her life. She was born prematurely and experienced an oxygen shortage shortly after birth. This affected part of her brain that controls the development of motor functions.
“It is fantastic for me to receive recognition for all the blood, sweat and tears that went into my studies. It's a privilege to help make a difference in society," Engelbrecht said.
The guest speaker Dr Nondumiso Mzizana, Chief Executive Officer of Sikelela Medical & Dental Suppliers and recipient of a Diploma in Odontology at SU, was nominated by the Student Representative Council for the Exceptional Alumni Award.
In her speech, Mzizana congratulated and encouraged students by sharing some of her life lessons with them.
“You have to be passionate about what you do. You have to love it. You have to believe in yourself and have resilience."
“Work harder and never stop educating yourself," she added.
In his congratulatory message, Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, praised students for their hard work.
“Behind every achievement lies focus, dedication and persistence. That is a big component of what is being recognised here tonight. Hang on to that lesson, especially when the going gets tough, and you will go far in life."
De Villiers also reminded them that SU stands for excellence.
- Click here for the complete list of students who received Rector's Awards in 2017.
- Click here for photos of the event.
Main photo: Prof Wim de Villiers with some of the students at the award's ceremony.
Photo 1: Former SRC Chairperson Nomzamo Ntombela, Prof Wim de Villiers, and Dr Nondumiso Mzizana at the ceremony. Photographer: Hennie Rudman