Kopano stalwart honoured in name

31 October 2005

It takes a special kind of person to want to be warden of a university residence for more than 30 years.

All the more so as the students never seem to age - there's always another battalion of 18-year olds coming in - while the warden feels the passage of time. That last observation comes from Emeritus Professor Ian Bunting, who should know.

He was warden of a residence at Rhodes University for around 15 years. And months after joining UCT as dean of humanities and social sciences in 1987, he was appointed warden of Kopano men's residence, then known as Driekoppen, a position he held until his retirement at the end of 2004.

During this time he also served as chair of the university's overarching Residence Committee. For that lengthy dedication, Kopano students and staff, along with the UCT Naming of Buildings Committee, recently renamed the dining hall at the residence Bunting Hall.

"His contribution to Kopano was far reaching, and he took an active role in student leadership activities and mentoring students," says deputy warden Georgie George, one of the many students Bunting had taken under his wing over the past 17 years.

Bunting thinks the credit should go to those he served alongside - the students, house committees, deputy wardens and the like, many of whom made the effort to be at the naming event. And it was all about his young wards, after all.

"The students, for me, are the critical part of the academic enterprise," he says. "I was very interested in residences and the role they play in the academic life, how you interface between residence life and academic life, and how you bring together different groupings of students." It's that devotion to students that generations of Kopano residents can now recall every time they enter Bunting Hall.

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