It fell to the Faculty of Health Sciences to stage the opening ceremony in UCT's December 2011 graduations, capping, on the morning of Monday, 12 December, the first band of the around 5 250 students who will graduate this week.
The faculty drew to a close the studies of those who had finished their MBChB degrees and their bachelors of science in, respectively, audiology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech-language pathology. The faculty will host a second ceremony on Saturday, 17 December.
And as dean, Professor Marian Jacobs, explained after the ceremony, the faculty's graduations are always special. Unlike most other faculties, these students have been in the same classes - they studied together, had fun together - for anything between three to six years, said Jacobs, hugging a graduate she's known, she shared, since the student was just four years old.
The ceremony also marked the presentation of the Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Leadership in Africa to Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, just the second recipient. Tutu could unfortunately not attend, so the award was made in absentia.
UCT will host a further 11 ceremonies this week, the next being that of the Faculty of Humanities this afternoon at 15h00. This will be the first of four ceremonies hosted by the faculty over the week.
This afternoon, Mary Burton, associated with the Black Sash since 1965, will also receive an honorary doctorate in social science. Di Oliver, another Black Sash stalwart, will receive UCT's first Chancellor's Medal.
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On Sunday, 26 December 2021, the University of Cape Town learned of the passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, 90. We say goodbye to a man who taught us the power of joy to fight injustice and evil.
“Archbishop Emeritus Tutu, as he graciously aged, never lost his vision for a just and free South Africa.”
– Archbishop Emeritus Njongonkulu Ndungane
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