The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) bumper autumn graduation season is in full swing. As part of the week’s festivities on campus, Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng hosted a special lunch reception to celebrate UCT’s PhD graduands, graduates and other honoured guests.
The gathering was held at Smuts Hall on upper campus on Monday, 15 April. Professor David Roger Jones Owen from Swansea University, who was conferred with an honorary doctorate in engineering on Saturday, as well as the recipient of the university’s Social Responsiveness Award, Kelvin Vollenhoven of the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (SATVI) in the Faculty of Health Sciences, were also in attendance.
But the event was dedicated primarily to UCT’s 70 PhD graduands and graduates, with Phakeng thanking them for “keeping the African light shining bright” through their research. Thirteen are from the Faculty of Commerce; seven from Engineering & the Built Environment, 19 from Health Sciences, six from Humanities, eight from the Faculty of Law, and 17 from the Faculty of Science.
“It’s a massive achievement to be graduating with your PhD. You have devoted years of hard work [in order] to achieve it.
“Your work is an expression not just of your commitment to research, but of your hope to create and effect change. All this research is needed and invaluable,” Phakeng said.
“Your work is an expression not just of your commitment to research, but of your hope to create and effect change. All this research is needed and invaluable.”
Contributing to the global knowledge bank
“Each of you has worked day and night to prove the value of African-based research and to contribute to the global knowledge bank. You are living proof of UCT’s mission to be the best on this continent in research that makes a difference in people’s lives.”
UCT’s PhD graduands and graduates celebrate their achievements with VC Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng during the lunch held in their honour.
She extended a special thank you to the supervisors and family members in the audience.
“None of us are islands and we count on the consideration and support of our loved ones and the support of others in the academic community. Without them none of this would be possible.”
She urged the PhD graduands and graduates to use the knowledge gained during their research wisely, to keep sharing and developing it, and using it to effect change in South African communities, as well as on the continent and around the globe.
“We’re counting on your research to do that and to make us the best in Africa and for Africa,” Phakeng said.
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