The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Faculty of Science capped 563 graduates at two graduation ceremonies last week. The graduation ceremony on Wednesday, 28 March, was a joyful occasion which blended together diverse elements and showcased the rich talent on offer at UCT. It also included the conferral of an honorary doctorate on climate change researcher and practitioner Dr Debra Roberts.
The academic procession entered UCT’s Sarah Baartman Hall to the sounds of a marimba band made up entirely of UCT students and alumni. There were various other musical items delivered by students from UCT’s South African College of Music (SACM). Of this, Interim Vice-Chancellor Emeritus Professor Daya Reddy said, “The vibrant South African College of Music is a real jewel in the crown of the University of Cape Town and at the forefront of music-making in South Africa and internationally.”
Second graduation ceremony
Chancellor Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe presided over the ceremony and constituted the assembly as a congregation of UCT. Emeritus Professor Reddy acted as master of ceremonies.
“A real jewel in the crown of the University of Cape Town.”
This was the second of two graduation ceremonies for the Faculty of Science during this graduation season. At the ceremony, the degree of Doctor of Science (honoris causa) was awarded to Dr Debra Roberts. University orator and the dean of the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment, Professor Alison Lewis, introduced Roberts. Roberts was honoured for her numerous contributions to the work on climate change action and research.
Honouring graduates, families and teachers
UCT master's graduate, Siphokazi Jonas, delivered a praise poem to honour the graduates, their families and their teachers. Jonas, a celebrated producer, writer, poet and performer, wrote and performed the poem especially for the graduation ceremony. Her poem’s inspiring refrain, “May everybody live their dreams,” resonated well with those in attendance.
“May everybody live their dreams.”
Reddy extended congratulations on behalf of UCT to the graduates, their parents, and family members and welcomed the graduates as members of UCT’s Convocation.
In her address to the congregation, Dr Moloi-Motsepe said that the graduates had “achieved [their] degrees during a time of unforeseen change”. She said that the conditions for learning, particularly in the South African context, are “far from ideal”.
“We have come to understand that it’s not about the degree,” she said. “It’s really about your ability to seek out, acquire and create knowledge regardless of your setting.”
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The University of Cape Town (UCT) hosted 15 graduation ceremonies from Monday, 27 March to Friday, 31 March 2023.
All the ceremonies were streamed live on the UCT news website as well as through the university’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for those who were not able to attend in person. Video recordings of the ceremonies are available on the UCT news website as well as on the university’s YouTube channel.
Download the full ceremony schedule. | Read more about graduation.
We have enjoyed spending this time of celebration with our students – who are now graduates – and we wish them all the best as they go out to make a difference in the world.
The names of all of the March 2023 qualifiers are listed in the graduation ceremony programmes. Congratulations to everyone graduating this March.
The UCT News team has profiled a cross-section of inspirational graduands whose stories have inspired us. To all those we haven’t been able to feature, we’d like to say: each one of you is an inspiration – to your university, your families and your communities. We wish you every success in the future.
Cwenga Koyana recently addressed the UNESCO and Women@Dior Global Conference in Paris on her social-impact project, Talitha Together, which won the programme’s Dream for Change competition in 2022.27 Mar 2023 - 8 min read
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