|This week will be crammed with graduation ceremonies as the academic year draws to a close.|
8 to 12 December will be a week crammed with graduation ceremonies and firsts at UCT.
For one, this week's 13 ceremonies will be the first presided over by Dr Max Price, who started as Vice-Chancellor in July this year.
Also, UCT will cap a whopping 75 PhD candidates this week, bringing its 2008 tally to 147, five more than 2007. A record nine of these came from the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology.
All in all, 4 489 students are expected to graduate this week.
As has been the case for many years, the bulk of students, 2 694, graduate from the larger commerce and humanities faculties. The Faculty of Commerce will award 1 374 undergraduate degrees and diplomas, as well as six PhDs and 30 master's degrees.
The Faculty of Humanities will boast 1 320 graduates, 14 PhD graduates and 69 master's graduates.
Graduates from the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment number 671, plus 12 PhDs and 76 master's graduates.
The Faculty of Health Sciences will cap 427 graduates, including 13 PhDs and 31 master's grads.
The Faculty of Law graduates 138 candidates, awarding 33 master's degrees and three PhDs.
Though the Faculty of Science's total number of graduates, 559, will be smaller than the bigger faculties, they produced the largest number of PhDs: 25 in all. The faculty also awards 69 master's degrees over the week.
UCT will also present two honorary degrees this week - a Doctor of Science (honoris causa) to Professor Jonathan Dorfan on Monday, 8 December, and a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) to Claire Palley on Friday, 12 December.
Dorfan obtained a BSc degree in physics and applied mathematics from UCT in 1969, and later obtained a PhD in experimental particle physics from the University of California, US. Upon acquiring his doctorate in 1976, he joined the Stanford Linear Accelerator Centre (SLAC) as a postdoc, and two years later as a staff scientist. He was promoted to associate professor in 1984, full professor in 1989, and associate director in 1994. As SLAC director, Dorfan managed the most important transition in the history of the laboratory. Traditionally a single-purpose particle physics research centre, SLAC has become a multi-programme laboratory, whose largest programme in 2009 will be in photon science.
A South African, Palley was the first woman to become a law professor in the UK and the dean of a law school. She graduated with an LLB from UCT in 1952. In 1965 she obtained her PhD from the University of London. She has an MA from the University of Oxford (1984) and an LLD (honoris causa) from Queen's University, Belfast. She began her academic career as a lecturer in law at the University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (1960 - 1965). After leaving Rhodesia, Palley moved on to a distinguished career as a scholar. Between 1971 and 1973 she was dean of the Faculty of Law at Queen's University. In 1974 she became master of Darwin College, University of Kent at Canterbury, and from 1984 to 1991 was the principal of St Anne's College, Oxford. She pioneered the way for women in academic law in a profession known for its conservatism.
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