The pioneer work of the faculties of Theology and Engineering was acknowledged at the second March graduation ceremony of Stellenbosch University (SU) at Coetzenburg Centre. At this ceremony, honorary doctorates were also bestowed on Prof Musa Dube, Archbishop Thabo Cecil Makgoba and Mr Trueman Goba.
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In his welcoming address, the University's Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Wim de Villiers, said this graduation ceremony was a truly historic occasion, forming part of SU's Centenary year. He also reminded the audience that the Faculty of Theology was officially established in 1920, and the Faculty of Engineering in 1944.
“As we commemorate our Centenary this year, we celebrate great achievements and ground-breaking discoveries over the past 100 years. We acknowledge everyone who has helped mould this institution. At the same time, the University acknowledges its contribution to the injustices of the past and is committed to redress and development," he said.
“Our Faculty of Theology is listed among the world's top 100 theological institutions on the QS World University Rankings by subject, making it one of only three theological institutions on the African continent to have achieved this distinction. The Faculty's transformative impact is evident from the fact that 57% of the students receiving qualifications today are from previously disadvantaged groups. And the fact that students from diverse denominations are included points to the Faculty's inclusive approach."
“Our Faculty of Engineering, in turn, is also doing sterling work with a positive impact on society. For instance, it houses the national head office of the TRAC SA programme, which assists under-resourced secondary schools with science and technology teaching. Every day, TRAC facilitators work with more than 10 000 learners in 110 secondary schools countrywide. The learners supported by TRAC are also performing better in their school exams," De Villiers said.
Altogether 13 honorary doctorates will be awarded as part of the Centenary commemorations this year. “The recipients of our honorary doctorates exemplify not only the graduate attributes that we aim to instil in our students but also the qualities we seek to take with us into the future as we enter our second century as a leading university," said De Villiers.
At the ceremony, the honorary doctorates had an opportunity to address the guests.
“I'm honoured and humbled to be a recipient of an honorary doctorate from such an illustrious university at this point in its history," said Prof Dube.
Prof Musa Dube, Archbishop, said: "If you (SU) continue on this way of transformation, a Matie may one day become the president of South Africa."
“The knowledge and freedom we enjoy today help us to create wealth in our country, directly or indirectly," said Goba.
Read more about the 13 recipients of the honorary doctorates of SU here .
To read Prof De Villiers total speech, click here .