In memoriam: Dr Stuart Saunders (Tribute Video 2)

25 February 2021 | Photos UCT and supplied.

Ode to the elephant is a song specifically composed for Dr Saunders’ 80th birthday. In a special virtual memorial service on 24 February 2021, his well lived life was celebrated.

He was a man full of wisdom, a resilient man, a skilled medical practitioner and a great leader. This is how the UCT community, family and friends of former UCT Vice-Chancellor remembered Dr Stuart Saunders. He continued to give of his time to the university even after he retired.

This second tribute video pays homage to his service to UCT the institution and to higher education in South Africa.

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Dr Stuart Saunders


The University of Cape Town (UCT) hosted an online memorial service for former Vice-Chancellor Dr Stuart Saunders on 24 February. Dr Saunders was a dedicated servant, steward and supporter of UCT. He passed away on Friday morning, 12 February 2021.

Stuart John Saunders was born in Cape Town, South Africa, on 28th August 1931. After graduating MBChB with honours in 1953 at the University of Cape Town, he did post-graduate research at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School at Hammersmith in London and at Harvard University. He received the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1965 (University of Cape Town). He began his administrative career as the University of Cape Town’s Head of the Department of Medicine (1971-1980) and was co-founder of the university’s Liver Clinic & Liver Research Unit (a field in which he wrote some two hundred articles and co-authored a study that has become a classical reference). He was Vice-Chancellor from January 1981 to August 1996.

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