With the tragic passing of Dr Cyrill Walters, a senior lecturer at the Stellenbosch Business School and a Research Fellow in Higher Education, the Stellenbosch University (SU) community this week mourned the loss of an exceptional academic and researcher.
On behalf of SU's rectorate, Prof Nico Koopman, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Social Impact, Transformation and Personnel, said Walters will be sorely missed. “She was a crucial role player in the University's quest to develop practices of learning and teaching, research and innovation that impact transformatively on society in local and global contexts. We will build upon her example and legacy. Our hearts and prayers go out to her loved ones."
Prof Jonathan Jansen, Distinguished Professor in Education at SU, described Walters as an exceptional postdoctoral scholar and research associate who provided leading research in gender, higher education and pandemic effects.
“Her passion and concern for women's progression in higher education through on-time data and publication ensured that she became a featured speaker at several university forums throughout the country, a role which she cherished and for which she was widely respected," Jansen noted. “She quickly mastered all the disciplines of advanced research in higher education and published quality books and articles with top publishers around the world in a relatively short period of time since achieving her PhD. It is rare for a scholar of her capacity and potential to gain prominence so quickly in international higher education at a relatively young age. Her loss to SU and the academy more broadly is immense," he concluded.
Walters will be fondly remembered as a remarkable woman who transcended the boundaries of professional success, said Dr Armand Bam, Head of Social Impact at the Stellenbosch Business School. “Above all, Cyrill will be remembered for her humanity, decency, loyalty and integrity. Cyrill was a beacon of inspiration within our community and has left an indelible mark on both her students and colleagues alike. Her exceptional scholarly achievements were matched only by her passion for uplifting others through her teaching, particularly in the realm of decision-making, where she challenged and enlightened countless MBA and other postgraduate students," Bam said.
- Walters started her career in the performing arts, graduating with a bachelor's degree in piano performance from the University of Cape Town (UCT). She was a visiting scholar at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, America, for her master's in music in 2002-2003. Walters graduated with an MBA from the Stellenbosch Business School in 2012 and completed her doctoral coursework at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University in America from 2015 to 2016 before graduating with a PhD from the Graduate School of Business at UCT.
SU extends its deepest condolences to Walters' family, friends, colleagues and students.