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Stellenbosch University Alumni tackle Cape Epic for #Move4Food University Alumni tackle Cape Epic for #Move4FoodOperations and Finance<p>​​​​Two Stellenbosch University staff members and alumni are putting in the hours on their mountain bikes training for the gruelling Absa Cape Epic 2020 to raise funds for the University's #Move4Food campaign.<br></p><p>Francois Swart, at Facilities Management, and Robert van Staden, at the Faculty of Education, joined forces to ride the arduous Cape Epic this year. It will be Francois's 5th Cape Epic and Robert's 4th, and the first time they will ride for a charity. They wish to raise R200 000 for #Move4Food.</p><p>The #Move4Food student-led campaign kicked off in August 2018 with an ambitious target of R10 million. The aim is to build food banks and end student hunger op SU's campuses. Students and Alumni across the country already took on challenges to raise funds for this worthy campaign, including SU's rector and vice-chancellor Prof Wim de Villiers.<br></p><p>In a previous interview Prof de Villiers said: “One student that goes hungry is one too many. What impressed me most with this campaign has been the phenomenal response from our students, staff and alumni – people whom also set up fundraising projects of their own. It shows each person can make a difference."</p><p>“To think that one in every 100 students have no food to eat while studying at SU, is heart-breaking. How can you study and be academic successful while being hungry?" asked Swart, who encourage people to donate for this worthy cause. “It never crossed my mind that there will be students who have no food to eat. It is so important for us to raise as much awareness as possible for this campaign so that we can make sure our students do not go a day without food and be academic successful. "</p><p>“We will raise awareness and change the lives of students on campus," says Van Staden. “It is more than just riding a race. Every day that we train, we cannot help thinking how hard it must be for students who do not have their basic needs met. It will be the biggest reward if we could reach our goal for the campaign and complete the Epic without any injuries," says Van Staden.</p><p>The #Move4Food Epic team started tr​​aining in October 2019. They try and train around 12 hours a week – mostly on their own, as they live in two different towns. It will be the first time that they team up for this event.</p><p>The #Move4Food team will ride 647 kilometres over eight days, climbing a total of 15 550 meters over rugged mountain dual tracks, rocky single tracks, sandy farm roads and nerve-racking descents off mountain ranges.</p><p>“Our goal is to finish and to raise enough awareness for our charity."</p><p>This year the Cape Epic will once again start at the University of Cape Town's campus for the prologue, and from there they will ride in Ceres, at Saronsberg in Tulbagh, in Wellington to finish on Val de Vie Estate in Paarl.</p><p>“Please donate," is the pleas from the #Move4Food Epic team. “There is not a thing as a small donation - every bit and coin help." If you want to support the team in their fundraising stunt, please click <a href="">here</a> <br></p><p>See their official video <a href="">here</a><br></p><p><br></p>
All set for Homecoming 2020 set for Homecoming 2020Development & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni<p>​​Stellenbosch University’s Homecoming, the Alumni Weekend is taking place from 5 to 9 March 2020 on our picturesque Stellenbosch campus. We’d be so delighted to welcome you back onto campus and have tailormade a number of really special events just for you.​<br></p><p></p><p>We have also included a broad range of Woordfees events as part of the Homecoming Weekend and, as alumni, you will receive a specially discounted rate on a selection of 50 Woordfees productions (out of the more than 300 events on offer).</p><p>Here is a snapshot of what you can look forward to:</p><p>​<strong>Thursday, 5 March at 18:00</strong><br>Homecoming Leadership Summit<br>How does one lead your company, your community, or your team in times of crisis? We have invited a few really truly inspiring leaders to share their thinking on Leadership in times of crisis with you at our Homecoming Leadership Summit.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Friday, 6 March at 18:00</strong><br>Farm style Dinner at Die Stal<br>You are invited to join us for a farm style dinner under the oak trees at Coetzenburg’s Die Stal, the recently renovated Alumni Club. Especially if you were in first year at Maties in 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000 or 2010, get your friends together for our Biggest Reunion to date. We promise something for everyone – so expect good food, better company, and outstanding entertainment.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Saturday, 7 March at 08:00</strong><br>Homecoming Parkrun<br>For the fit and getting-fitter, festivities continue at our Homecoming Parkrun. We’re teaming up with the Kayamandi Parkrun organisers, so get your maroon on and bring your family along, including the four-legged kind. Run, jog or walk that 5km together with us.<br></p><p> </p><p><strong>Saturday, 7 March at 10:30am</strong><br>Come for tea at Die Stal – campus tours will be leaving from Die Stal from 11am, on bicycle, on tuk-tuks, or on foot. These tours include stops at residences and faculties. Contact for more info.</p><p><br><strong>Saturday, 7 March 2020</strong><br>Year Group Reunions<br>During Saturday, 7 March there will be many smaller year group reunions within specific residences, for more information contact the specific residence.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Saturday, 7 March 2020</strong><br>Harmonie Ladies Residence, you celebrate your 115-year birthday on Saturday, 7 March in 2020!</p><p> </p><p><strong>Saturday, 7 March</strong><br>Helderberg Wynveiling<br>Trust them to make everyone feel at home: The annual vibrant Helderberg Wynveiling takes place on Saturday, 7 March at 18h30.<br>Contact Matthew Odendaal at</p><p><br><strong>Sunday, 8 March 2020</strong><br>2020 Cape Town Cycle Tour<br>Signed up for the 2020 Cape Town Cycle Tour, alumni? On Sunday, 8 March you could join SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Wim de Villiers, his son Braam and daughter Gera, and cycle in support of the #Move4Food campaign. Enjoy the downhill fun and the Suikerbossie pedal, the fundraising, and camaraderie in our special edition #Move4Food cycling T-shirt and a good massage at our post-event hospitality tent, all for a good cause.</p><p>Entries for alumni fundraisers are available for purchase; contact for more information.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Monday, 9 March at 14:00</strong><br>Rugby Captains’ Lunch<br>As a special fundraiser for the Craven Bursary Fund, we are hosting the Rugby Captains’ Lunch. Hear former Maties and Ikeys rugby captains and players share their memories of games won, lost… and could-have-won, while enjoying lunch under the trees at Die Stal. Contact for more information.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Monday, 9 March at 18:00</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Maties XV and Ikeys XV</p><p>Rugby enthusiasts can look forward to a riveting game between the Maties XV and Ikeys XV as they go head-to-head at the Danie Craven Stadium. Part of the annual and hotly contested Varsity Cup tournament, you need to secure a ticket for the game through Webtickets. You’re also welcome to visit the Alumni Club at Die Stal or the Maties Rugby clubhouse in the stadium, before and after the game. <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></a></p><p><br></p>
SU highlights 2019 video – Prof Wim takes the two-minute challenge highlights 2019 video – Prof Wim takes the two-minute challengeKorporatiewe Kommunikasie / Corporate Communication<p>​​“A big thank you to everybody who helped take Stellenbosch University (SU) forward in 2019, another year of highlights for us," Rector and Vice-Chancellor Prof Wim De Villiers tells staff, students, alumni, donors, partners and frie​nds of the institution in an end-of-year video m​essage. <br></p><p>And then he takes the​​ two-minute challenge set last month by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, trying to beat the clock as he runs through the yea​​r's highlights at SU. <a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/Edit.aspx?ID=6262&Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FAllItems%2Easpx%23InplviewHashb7da3f62%2D8e4d%2D4b50%2Db0a4%2Db548c4d0d6c6%3D&ContentTypeId=0x010019F8BC5373DFA740B008FC720EA25DE601001164650C2CAFD842A65CBCFBB7C2C2A4" style="text-decoration:underline;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"></span></a><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"></span>Watch his video to see if he makes it! (Full text below).​</p> <iframe src="" width="690" height="345" frameborder="0"></iframe> <ol><li>“We've received 45 000 first-year applications for 2020 … 6 000 more than last year. And the main reason provided by applicants is our academic reputation.</li><li>Our students' module success rate remains above 86%, one of the highest in the country.</li><li>Funds raised for bursaries increased by 82% the past five years. Thank you very much to everyone who opens doors for our students.</li><li>We awarded more than 9 000 qualifications the past academic year, 52% at postgraduate level, including a record 308 doctorates.</li><li>Our African Doctoral Academy turned 10 this year, and we now have 20 agreements for Joint PhDs with top universities around the world.</li><li>We're the only university on our continent invited to join the prestigious Global Alliance of Universities on Climate. </li><li>We're well on our way to becoming Africa's leading research-intensive university, with our new Vision and Strategic Framework, which came into effect this year.</li><li>We've gone up in world rankings again, placing us in the top 1% of universities globally. Our Business School's MBA is now No. 1 in Africa.</li><li>473 of our academics now have a National Research Foundation rating, an increase of 92% the past decade. </li><li>We've lodged 127 patents the past 10 years, the most in the country.</li><li>Our LaunchLab was named the top business incubator at a university in Africa.</li><li>A Matie student in her second year won a big prize by inventing an edible straw! </li><li>Our electricity consumption has dropped to 2008 levels, water use is down 51%, and we recycle 55% of our waste. </li><li>We launched a School for Data Science and Computational Thinking.</li><li>We established seven new alumni hubs around the world, which brings our total to 22.</li><li>Retired Constitutional Court judge Edwin Cameron has been elected our new Chancellor from next year. He will succeed Dr Johann Rupert, who has provided exceptional service the past decade.</li><li>More than 400 of our staff members and 500 students together devoted 138 000 hours of service to communities the past year.</li><li>We're setting up joint working groups to combat gender-based violence. </li><li>We received a large grant to develop better treatment for children with multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis. </li><li>Campus renewal is going well, with 147 capital projects underway and various initiatives to make everyone feel welcome. </li><li>We're investing substantially in ICT for blended and hybrid learning and teaching. </li><li>Maties Rugby once again won the Varsity Cup and our world-champion Choir will defend their title in Belgium next year."</li></ol><p>Having caught his breath, Prof De Villiers concludes: “It's really an honour for me to lead Stellenbosch University, and I'm looking forward to my second term, starting in April. Good luck with your final duties for 2019, wherever you may find yourself in the world. Enjoy the break, and everything of the best for 2020."​<br></p><p> <br> </p>
Convocation: SU embraces inclusivity and multilingualism SU embraces inclusivity and multilingualismDevelopment & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni<p>​​​​“Our graduates are well qualified and they are internationally in demand, our research is innovative and relevant and our impact on society is extensive. All this we do by reaching out inclusively, not by exclusively looking inward," Stellenbosch University (SU) Rector and Vice-Chancellor Prof Wim de Villiers said at the annual meeting of the Convocation on Thursday, 14 November 2019.<br></p><p>The meeting took place at the Adam Small Theatre Complex, and was attended by 253 members of the Convocation, consisting of alumni and academic staff members of the University. Dr Leslie van Rooi was elected to the position of Vice-President of the Convocation with an overwhelming majority. He is Senior Director: Social Impact and Transformation at SU, and Residence Head of Simonsberg. Esterbeth Singels was elected as an additional member, replacing Michael Jonas.<br></p><p>De Villiers highlighted some of SU's recent successes:<br></p><ul><li>More than 9 000 degrees, diplomas and certificates, including 308 doctorates – a new record – be​ing awarded over the past academic year (2018);</li><li>Close to 43% of the university's 32 000 students are now from the coloured, black, Indian or Asian population groups, and its student success rate is above 85% - one of the highest in the country;</li><li>SU is the only university in Africa invited to join the prestigious Global Alliance of Universities on Climate. The other members include UC Berkeley, Cambridge, Imperial College London, the London School of Economics, MIT and China's Tsinghua University; and</li><li>The launch of the new School for Data Science and Computational Thinking, a ground-breaking initiative that will work across all 10 of SU's faculties in an interdisciplinary way. A new degree course in Data Engineering, and new interdisciplinary study options are available in such fields as bioinformatics and computational biology. </li></ul><p>De Villiers emphasised the University's continued commitment to multilingualism, following last month's unanimously ruling by the Constitutional Court, rejecting Gelyke Kanse's challenge of SU's 2016 Language Policy. The judgement made it clear that the Language Policy was constitutionally justified and that the process followed to adopt it Language Policy was thorough, exhaustive, inclusive and properly deliberative.</p><p>"We remain committed to the use of Afrikaans - in conjunction with English - as languages of instruction against the background of inclusivity and multilingualism," De Villiers said.</p><p> “As you know, a retired judge has been appointed to investigate a complaint against me that I tried to interfere with the language court case. I welcome the inquiry and look forward to the report that will be delivered to Council. The university will then communicate further on the matter," he added.</p><p>The guest speaker, Waldimar Pelser, editor of <em>Rapport</em>, spoke about the current state of South Africa (2019) and how we can ensure it improves by 2029.</p><p>He makes the assertion that the future for South Africans is highly uncertain, with Eskom's inability to keep the lights on, government's inaction, rising unemployment and the poor state of the economy being major worries.</p><p>Pelser cautions that if this current state of affairs continues, “the economy will not reach its full potential, unemployment will increase, populism will thrive and service delivery will weaken further".</p><p>However, he feels there is hope and gives three reasons to support this. </p><p>“Crises sometimes release new energy, fosters opposition and it spurs innovation in areas where we do have futures. Secondly, although costly state decay continues, many South Africans still live very good lives. And lastly, the future is very hard to predict, anything can still happen and that is good news."</p><p>He concluded by saying that South Africa's future in 2029 will be depend on those that are able to seize opportunities that others fail to see. </p><p>President of the Convocation Advocate Jan Heunis used his speech to criticise the University and the Constitutional Court over the Language Policy case. He was part of the Gelyke Kanse application, which was rejected by the Court. </p><p>He repeated allegations that the Rector interfered in the case by asking Justice Edwin Cameron to stand for the position of Chancellor, and threatened to resign if the Rector and Chair of Council do not resign, and if the Chancellor is inaugurated.</p><ul><li><a href="/english/management/wim-de-villiers/speeches" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>Click here</strong></a> to access the Rector's speech​<br></li></ul><p><br></p>
Allan Gray: Statement from Stellenbosch University Gray: Statement from Stellenbosch UniversityDevelopment & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni<p>Stellenbosch University (SU) mourns the death of Allan Gray - entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist – who has made such a positive impact on the lives of our students. <br></p><p>Since 2012, his Allan Gray Orbis Foundation has been one of our most valuable partners – providing bursary support to more than 50 Maties studying in the fields of science, commerce, engineering, humanities and law. In addition to bursary support, the Foundation has been working closely with Innovus, our innovation company, to assist and develop students in the entrepreneurial space. </p><p>Allan Gray will be remembered with a tremendous sense of gratitude because of his investment in education and the future of South Africa's bright young minds. We believe his impact will be felt for generations to come as these students go out and make a positive difference in society. <br></p>
'I took the road less travelled''I took the road less travelled'Development & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni<p style="text-align:justify;">“I took the road less travelled. As a coloured woman working in an industry where there are hardly any women of colour, but also considering our country's history with the wine industry and alcohol dependency amongst some communities, I took the road less travelled by following this path. When I started in this industry, my mom wasn't very happy with me, because this wasn't the field you studied in."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">These were the words of Natasha Boks, a Faculty of AgriSciences' alumnus, former winemaker and businesswoman, at the third Careers Café held recently. The TedTalk-styled talk series was launched in 2016 by the Alumni Relations Office to provide a platform for alumni to engage with the university in a different manner by offering their time and skills to help current students prepare for the careers they want. At the same time, undergraduate and postgraduate students are exposed to a diverse group of alumni who have pursued different careers and faced various challenges along the way to build a successful career. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">During her talk, Boks shared some of the important things she learned in her life and career journey that inspired her to finally open up her own businesses – one focused on the wine production industry in South Africa and the other on wine exports and distribution in the rest of Africa.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I think that finding your own success is linked to understanding your uniqueness," she said. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">This, added Boks, required one to be authentic and to make choices for your life and your career based on the things that you value. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Ask yourself, why am I competing and for who and for what. You have to become your own standard and know your worth and what you have to offer."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Knowing who you are, said Boks, requires you to choose your own path. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“When I look at my journey at Nederburg, yes we won a lot of awards and we were great as a team, but I realised that when you don't know who you are, you are always going to compete with other people. The life you choose for yourself, should be yours. I can understand the pressure that people experience, especially with social media, but always choose your own path."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">This lesson, said Boks, is something she learnt when she accepted a job as head winemaker at Nederburg Wine Estate, one of the most awarded wine estates in South Africa. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I was the head winemaker and I needed to make sure that we still made quality Nederburg wines that would win awards under my leadership. But the question was, did I have to be like everyone else to do that?"<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">She encouraged the students to listen to the opinions of those who provided constructive criticism that would add to their development, but also to be wary of those critics who will break down what the students may build without adding to their development. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“People will have an opinion about you, but when they give you their opinion, you have to ask: Who is the person giving the opinion? Is the person giving you the advice someone you trust and see as a role model? If you don't, just listen to the comment and move on."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">This, she added, is very important, especially when you fail. It has also been vital in helping her build her own businesses. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“When it comes to business, you need to know who you are, because if you don't other people will impose their vision or plan unto you and this may take you off the path you need to take. You are going to fail, you are going to cry and you are going to swear at yourself and ask, 'why did I leave a comfortable safe job?', but one thing I can tell you, you are going to be happy and be fulfilled if you follow your passion and purpose. Yes, it is hard work, but you are going to be satisfied with your choices and at peace with it if you understand that only you are responsible for where you end up in life."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Knowing her worth, said Boks, is another reason that she has never had to search for a job in her life. By knowing her worth and by demonstrating the value she added through the work she performed at the companies she worked at, Boks secured positions as assistant winemaker and head winemaker at various companies. However, it was the companies that approached her instead of the other way around.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">She encouraged students to also push themselves beyond their limits and to evaluate their goals on a monthly, half-year and yearly basis. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Give yourself a timeline and start doing something about the goals you set out for yourself. A piece of paper with your goals will only tell you what you want to do and should do, but it won't make you do it. Take action in what you want to achieve in your life and be careful of complacency."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">And, while Boks encouraged the students to work hard to reach their goals, she told them to also ensure that they always create balance in their life. This, she said, was a key lesson she learnt when in June 2017 she suffered physical burnout and a near heart attack. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Before I resigned from Distell in July 2017, I already knew it was time to get out of the corporate environment and do my own thing. I was working at Distell and I had a mentor in the company and I was satisfied with how things were progressing. But, in the first week of June 2017 I had a burnout," she said.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I remember that morning well. My husband went to work quite early. I went to shower and I got this really bad pain in my chest. The moment I stepped out of the shower, I collapsed. I was lying on the bathroom floor and I was still aware of where I was, but the pain in my chest was so bad I could not get to my phone, but yet, the first thing I thought as I was lying there was, I need to get to work."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I called my husband and when he did not pick up, I called a friend. As soon as she calmed me down, I put on my clothes and I went to work. I told my assistant this is what you have to do for the day and then I drove myself to the hospital."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Boks was taken up immediately. She was only 35, but a muscle in her heart had become inflamed, putting her at high risk of suffering a heart attack that morning.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I knew that there had to be something wrong with me, because no one in their right mind, who is near to having a heart attack will drive to work first and then drive themselves to hospital."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“It was time to ask myself, where are you going? And that is the day that I told myself – I am choosing me, I am no longer going to push myself like this. So I started exercising, I started looking at what I ate and I made a choice to start my own businesses." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">She adds, however, that the decision was not driven by disillusionment with the company she worked for, but the realisation that she had made the contributions she wished to make at Distell and that it was time to take on a new challenge.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">While Boks believes that it is important to have balance and value oneself, she told the students that it was equally important to value other people and the contributions they make. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Make sure that if you have people reporting to you that those people always feel valued and that they understand the value they bring to the table." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">To demonstrate this point, she told the students a story about a co-worker who had worked at Distell for 20 years, but had never been given the opportunity to participate in a wine tasting event before, something he really felt he wanted to develop more. When she offered the opportunity to the worker to participate in one of the wine industry's well-known wine tasting events, he was reluctant to participate. After much convincing, he agreed to accompany her to the event. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I took him over to a few of the other stands at the event and he started talking to people and in that moment he realized just how much he knew about winemaking. He had worked at Distell for 20 years and had never had such an opportunity. Open up the platforms that were given to you to other people so that they can also grow. Sometimes we forget that we are better off than others, so when you can, give someone else the opportunity to get to where they want to be." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Ending her talk, Boks said: “The last thing I want you to do is to cultivate grit. You are going to fail, but you will need to stand up and try again. To do that, you are going to have to cultivate grit, perseverance and resilience, because you are going to need that to succeed". <br></p><ul style="text-align:justify;"><li><em>Photo: Natasha Boks (far left), a Faculty of AgriSciences' alumnus, former head winemaker and businesswoman, was the guest speaker at the third Careers Café held recently. With her are Marvin Koopman (far right), Alumni Relations Coordinator at the Alumni Relations division, and the two students who won an opportunity to have dinner with Boks after attending the Careers Café. They are Dimpho Mathibe (second from the left) and Amy Goliath (third from the left). (Henk Oets) </em></li></ul><p><br></p>
Vosloo couple invests in Chair in Afrikaans Language Practice at SU couple invests in Chair in Afrikaans Language Practice at SUDevelopment & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni<p>​​​Ton Vosloo and Anet Pienaar-Vosloo, a couple with close ties to Stellenbosch University (SU), announced that from 2020 they will be sponsoring the Ton and Anet Vosloo Chair in Afrikaans Language Practice at SU for five years.<br></p><p>In addition to the Chair, funds are made available for bursaries for deserving students studying Afrikaans at postgraduate level at SU.</p><p>According to the Vosloo couple, the Chair is aimed at further developing Afrikaans as an important instrument in the service of the entire South African community.</p><p>Until 2015, Vosloo was in the industry for 59 years as a journalist, editor, CEO and chairperson of Naspers, and for the past three years, professor of journalism at SU. Pienaar-Vosloo, also a former journalist, is filming the third television series <em>Mooi </em>for the VIA TV channel. She is a Matie who studied fine art, and is well known for her role as co-founder and director of the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, Aardklop and various other festivals across the country. She is also the first female chair of the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town.</p><p>Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of SU, says the donation not only helps in maintaining Afrikaans as a medium of instruction, but also in promoting Afrikaans as a science and career language in a multilingual community. "As far as we know this is the first and only sponsored Chair in Afrikaans Language Practice at any university," he adds.</p><p>Prof Ilse Feinauer of the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch in SU's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, has been appointed incumbent of this Chair. She has been teaching at the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch since 1982, and since 1996 has been involved in the postgraduate programme in translation, which has been expanded under her guidance from a postgraduate diploma in translation to a PhD in translation. She chaired the Department from 2005 to the end of 2008 and held the position of Vice Dean: Research of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences from 2015 to 2018. In 2013, Feinauer became the first woman to be promoted to professor of Afrikaans linguistics at SU, and in 2014, the Taiyuan University of Technology in Taiyuan, Shanxi (China), awarded her an honorary professorship in their Faculty of International Language and Culture.</p><p>“It is an incredible honour and privilege for me to be able to hold this Chair in Afrikaans Language Practice. All credit goes to Prof Wim de Villiers for laying the groundwork to make this Chair a reality in the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch."</p><p>According to Prof Feinauer, bursaries have already been awarded to four honours students, three master's students, two PhD students and one postdoctoral fellowship in Afrikaans and Dutch for 2020. “This Chair provides the Department with the opportunity to empower postgraduate students in particular to do research in and about Afrikaans in order to pursue a professional career after completing their studies in and through Afrikaans," she added.</p><p>When Ton Vosloo was asked why he and his wife came forward with the support of Afrikaans, he replied: “In my memoirs <em>Across Boundaries: A life in the media in a time of change</em>, published last year, I wrote a chapter entitled, 'Afrikaans in decline'. I made the point in the chapter that I hope gracious individuals would come forward who were concerned with the A to Z of Afrikaans.</p><p>“Anet and I have the grace that we can help. Afrikaans, as Jan Rabie put it, is our oxygen. Now is the time to step in further to develop this incredible source of knowledge for the sake of our nation's future. "</p><p>The Vosloos have been esteemed SU donors for some time.<br></p>
It’s only because I dared, says Songezo Mabece’s only because I dared, says Songezo MabeceDevelopment & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni<p style="text-align:justify;">“I dared. I had nothing to lose. I gave myself a chance. Here where you are sitting now, you are sitting on a no, but you can also be put in a different position to where you are now if you dare to ask. It's only because I dared," said Law Faculty alumnus, SAFM radio presenter and qualified lawyer Songezo Mabece as he addressed more than 400 students at a recent Careers Café held at Stellenbosch University (SU). <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">This was the main tip that Mabece shared from his Top 5 Tips with the students on how to build a successful career.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Mabece was the second alumnus to participate in the annual Careers Café series. The TedTalk-styled talk series was launched in 2016 by the Alumni Relations division to provide a platform for alumni to engage with the university in a different manner by offering their time and skills to help current students prepare for the careers they want. At the same time, undergraduate and postgraduate students are exposed to a diverse group of alumni who have pursued different careers and faced various challenges along the way to build a successful career. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Mabece, who grew up in Sada, a rural community in the Eastern Cape, today works as Legal Counsel and Executive Assistant to the Commissioner of the Competition Commission of South Africa. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Speaking to the students, he shared how his journey started when he was just eight years old and enrolled at Selborne Primary School after having secured a spot at the boarding school. Upon acceptance as a learner, Mabece would be one of only eight black learners to live in the school hostel along with 60 white learners. Two of the eight African learners also happened to be his brothers. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“For the next 11 years my life was governed by the clock," said Mabece as he shared the challenges of moving into a school hostel at the age of eight and having to adjust to a world filled with immense privilege, something he was now being exposed to as a young African learner amongst thousands of white learners at Selborne Primary.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“It signaled when I had to get up in the mornings, when I had to eat, when I had to wash and get dressed, and when I had to go to class. My life was dictated by a clock. There was no mom or dad to go home to at night, to tuck me into bed. Now imagine what that was like for an eight year old."<br></p><p>It was 1992, De Klerk was still president and apartheid was in its dying days, but still giving its last final kicks. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“If you were at a Model C school, you were expected to be like everyone else. In 1992 that was your only option. It was deplorable to be Mabece, I was called Sangezo instead of Songezo, or known as Mabeke. I was not in a position to affirm who I was, because I was an African boy in a white space," he explained. “I had to assimilate or suffer the consequences for being different."<br></p><p>“I had to make my choices and I had to make them quickly as I did not have my parents there with me."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">In spite of these challenges, Mabece passed matric well enough to gain entry to university, and was an avid debater, athlete and rugby player at both primary and high school. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I became house captain, school captain, athletics captain and more. My brother, Loyiso, became headboy - marking a historic moment in the 130 year history of Selborne College. This after our older, late brother Luvuyo made history in 1998 by starting for the school's first XV rugby team in the number 12 jersey."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">When he finished his schooling, Mabece enrolled at Fort Hare University to complete an LLB (Bachelor of Laws) degree. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I am proud of where I come from. I am proud of what it took my family to get me there. I am proud of the wonderful chance I was offered to attend Selborne Primary and College schools, and I am super proud to have gone through that system and emerge from it with many wonderful accolades," he said. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“But my story is neither unique nor particularly special – many of my country men and women have gone through this system and walked a similar path of excellence and achievement. Many of those people are at this university, in this room." <br></p><p>In January 2009, after finishing his degree at Fort Hare, Mabece took on an internship at the SABC. But after a month, and a meagre salary of R3 000, he registered at Maties for an LLM in International Trade Law degree at the Law Faculty, which he commenced in February 2009.  </p><p><span style="text-align:justify;">A</span><span style="text-align:justify;"> wee</span><span style="text-align:justify;">k</span><span style="text-align:justify;"> after resigning from the SABC, he was in Stellenbosch and had moved into the empty Brackenfell home of his brother. But, on his first day of traveling from the house to SU, Mabece got a rude awakening. Public transport in the Western Cape would not get him to university on time as his commute would involve an hour's walk to the nearest train station, another hour to get to Stellenbosch if the trains were running on time, 30 minutes to get to his lecture hall on the university campus from Stellenbosch station and on top of that, the transport costs would require money he did not have.</span><br></p><p>“After having to stand on the side of the road, with a Maties sign in my hand, hitchhiking for a lift to university, I decided to stay at home the next day. A day later, I returned and a fellow student from Zimbabwe welcomed me into his apartment and let me stay there for the night."</p><p>The day after, he went to the postgraduate division's Ms Schwartz, and pleaded his case. By the end of the day, the faculty had found money to tie him over and deposited it into his bank account to help with his living expenses. Soon after, he was accepted into Huis de Villiers residence and later, through his interest as a rugby referee, many other doors opened for Mabece. <br></p><p>“That was the end of my trials and the start of the good life in Matieland. So much so that I only graduated eight years later," he said jokingly and laughed. “In reality, I wasn't ready for that LLM and that is a critical lesson I learned from that." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Irrespective, he completed it. A year before (May 2016) Mabece acquired the General Manager Programme certificate at the IEDC-Bled School of Management in Slovenia followed by a short course in Competition Law at the University of Cape Town.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">In 2017, he took another risk. After reading about the LLM in Government Procurement Law at George Washington University (GWU) in the United States, he applied knowing full well he did not have the R750 000 he would need for his tuition and to cover basic living expenses in Washington. </p><p>Through his tenacity, Mabece secured full funding through a scholarship from GWU, that was augmented by his salary from his employer, who granted him 10-months leave to complete the degree. <br></p><p>“I gave myself a chance," he repeated. <br></p><p>“I know that I have been incredibly fortunate, a lot of what has happened in my life is simply playing out to a script that was written long before I was born. When I was at SU, I was not ready to do a Masters, and it is okay to not be ready."<br></p><p>Touching on another tip, he encouraged the students to not see delays as opportunities that are being denied. <br></p><p>“Somewhere out there, there is a bus waiting to dock at your station."<br></p><p>In encouraging the students to be the generation who strives to be better than the generation that preceded them, not only for themselves, but also for those that will follow, Mabece continued: “Evolution demands that of you and our environment demands that of you. When I look around this room and feel the energy here, I have absolutely no reservation in thinking that this university is in great hands and our country will be led by responsible citizens." <br></p><p>“The one thing I want to leave you with, if nothing else – believe in your madness, and give yourself a chance."<br></p><ul><li><em>​Photo: Law Faculty alumnus, lawyer and SAFM presenter Songezo Mabece (far right) was the guest speaker at the second Careers Café. With Songezo are the students who won a dinner with him after attending the event as well as Marvin Koopman (third from the left), Alumni Relations Coordinator in the Alumni Relations division. From the left the students are Takudzwa Masunda, Motsoari Nthunya, Noku Katom, and Olona Ndzuzo. (Henk Oets)</em></li></ul><p><br></p>
Rapport editor speaker at annual Convocation meeting editor speaker at annual Convocation meetingDevelopment & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni<p>Waldimar Pelser, editor of Rapport newspaper, will be the guest speaker at the annual meeting of the Convocation of Stellenbosch University (SU) taking place on <strong>Thursday, 14 November 2019 </strong>at the Adam Small Theatre Complex in Stellenbosch. </p><p>The Convocation is a statutory body of SU, consisting of graduates, including current postgraduate students and all full-time and retired academic staff of the University. All South African universities are by law required to have a Convocation to ensure the inclusion of alumni interests in matters affecting the University. <br></p><p>Members are encouraged to arrive to register. The meeting will also include the election of two new members of the Executive Committee of the Convocation. </p><p><strong>More about our guest speaker:</strong></p><p>Pelser is the editor of Rapport and presenter of the news actuality programme <em>KN Verslag In Gesprek</em> on kykNet. He started his journalistic career in 2001 at Die Burger after completing the degrees BA Law, BPhil (Journalism) and MPhil (Journalism) at SU. In 2004, he completed the MPhil (Development Studies) degree at the University of Oxford, where he studied with a Rhodes Scholarship.</p><p>After three years at Beeld in Johannesburg, he moved to Lagos, Nigeria in 2007 to establish a Media24 newspaper office in West Africa. He became news editor of Beeld in 2009 and editor of news magazine <em>NuusNou / NewsNow</em> in 2011. Pelser has been awarded an ATKV media award as the best presenter of a news or actuality programme on three occasions and in 2019 was nominated for a Safta for best TV presenter in South Africa.​​<br><br></p><p><strong>Venue:</strong> Adam Small Theatre Complex, 15 Victoria Street, Stellenbosch</p><p><strong>Time:</strong> 19:00</p><p>Please confirm your attendance via e-mail to <a href=""></a> or telephonically on 021 808 9266. <br></p><p><br></p>
My success is thanks to a community effort success is thanks to a community effortDevelopment & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni<p style="text-align:justify;">​​She's a successful businesswoman who owns two companies focused on the wine production industry in South Africa and wine exports and distribution in the rest of Africa, but Natasha Boks will be the first to tell you, she did not get there on her own.  <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">On Thursday, 24 October, Natasha will be the guest speaker at the Careers Café hosted by the Alumni Relations division in the Arts building on the corner of Merriman and Ryneveld Street between 13:00 and 14:00. If you are an undergraduate or postgraduate student and wish to attend the event, please visit <a href="" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong></strong></a> to reserve your seat or contact Marvin Koopman at <a href="" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong></strong></a> by Wednesday, 23 October.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I grew up in Cloetesville in Stellenbosch and my biggest role models and supporters were my mom and my dad. They were the people who would push me against all the odds. They were my cheerleaders and encouraged me to be proud of who I was and celebrate my individuality. Neither of them had finished school, but they taught me that your environment does not dictate where you go in life," says Natasha.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Further support came from her teachers at Cloetesville High School, specifically a married couple who both taught at the school, Mr and Mrs Rogers – the latter her Geography teacher. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Mr and Mrs Rogers imparted a lot of values on me when it came to education. When I was a learner, they encouraged me to always strive for more in life and to always do my best and once I went to university, they would call to find out how I was doing and how my studies were going. They also bought all the textbooks I required for my first year at university when my parents did not have the money to do so."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Whether there was money or not, Natasha says that it was always a given for her parents that she would go to university. Academically, she excelled at school and even held leadership positions as head girl in primary and high school. While in Grade 10, she came across a programme, the South African Innovation Learning Initiative (SAILI), which was presented at Stellenbosch University, and assisted learners with improving their marks in specific subjects to gain entry into the study programmes they wished to pursue. Natasha enrolled and gave up every Saturday for the next two years to attend the programme to ensure she would get into SU.<br></p><p>“I realised then that no one was going to help me get to my goals, I had to commit and do the work myself." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">By the time she had completed the programme, she was accepted for a BSc Molecular Biology degree and registered in 2002. Midway in her first year, her father lost his job. Natasha admits she thought of quitting because she did not want to add to the financial strain at home. But her dad and her elder brother would have none of it. Her dad started a home-based business while her brother contributed what he could from his salary.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">However, a year later, Natasha realised that BSc Molecular Biology was not the right fit for her. As much as she was an introvert, she also enjoyed working with people and this specific degree would most likely confine her to a laboratory.<br></p><p>The question was, what to study next. “I loved geography when I was in school and I knew I wanted to pursue a career that would involve me working in nature," she says. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">In 2003, she made the shift to focus on winemaking instead and choose to change her degree to Bsc (Agriculture) Oenology and Viticulture. It was the perfect combination of applying science in the winemaking process, provided her with an opportunity to be outdoors, and to interact with other people.  However, her change in programme was not met with initial enthusiasm from her parents. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“They were not happy, especially my mother. My dad's grandmother was an alcoholic and she died because of alcoholism, so anything related to alcohol was a taboo for my family in general. But eventually my mother came around."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“It was also a challenge to adapt to a new environment. I was one of six people of colour in my Agriculture class, but at least I could speak Afrikaans. Many of my fellow classmates of colour couldn't and they struggled. I had also never interacted with anyone outside my own race and while I had grown up with Stellenbosch University in my home town, it was still a foreign place to me. Even hanging out in town was something new to me. So yes, it was an adjustment, in particular the social part."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“But I am not one to shy away from a challenge. My parents raised me to speak my mind. I told myself, 'this is where you need to be, you know who you are and if you need to ask for help you do that, because the only thing people could say is no'."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">She adds: “It is important to be true to who you are in situations like that. You have to understand your value and the value you add to the lives of others and in the greater scheme of things, because if you don't, you'll try to be someone else to fit in." <br></p><p>For the next three years, despite numerous challenges, Natasha pushed through with bursaries received from NSFAS, SAWIT and the Department of Agriculture. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">On 24 October, Natasha will share her life story and career journey and reflect on how she ended up working for Distell, specifically two of South Africa's top wine brands – Nederburg and Zonnebloem – and progressed from assistant wine maker to head winemaker with the support of some of the country's best wine makers. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">​The Careers Café series was launched in 2016 by the Alumni Relations Office to provide a platform for alumni to engage with the university in a different manner by offering their time and skills to help current students prepare for the careers they want.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">For more information about the Careers Café, follow the Alumni Relations Facebook page at <a href="" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong></strong></a> and the SU Facebook page at <a href="" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong></strong></a>. To attend, RSVP at <a href="" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong></strong></a> or contact  Marvin Koopman at <a href="" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong></strong></a><strong style="text-decoration:underline;"> </strong>by Wednesday, 23 October.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"> <br></p><p><br></p>