Graduates to exceed the expectations of success – Prof Linda du Plessis
“I want to challenge you to exceed the expectations of success and to be graduates of significance – not only for South Africa, but the world. Become a champion of impact and hope. Use the qualification you receive today as an instrument of change and innovation and take up the torch and become a thought leader for a better future.”
Having said these words, Prof Linda du Plessis – acting Campus Rector of the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University (NWU Vaal), motivated the 147 graduates who took to the stage during the final day of the Autumn Graduation Ceremony. The day saw various degrees within the Bachelor of Commerce programme being awarded, amongst others: BCom in Human Resource Management, BCom in Industrial Psychology and Labour Relations Management. Several postgraduate degrees were also conferred, namely: Honours BCom in Chartered Accountancy, Honours BCom in Financial Accountancy, Honours BCom in Economics, Honours BCom in Risk Management and Honours BCom in Entrepreneurship and Marketing.
The highlight of the day was the conferral of 31 Master’s degrees – among which the first seven graduates within the field of Applied Risk Management. The session also saw 10 doctoral degrees being conferred. The following graduates received doctorates:
- Dr. Oluwapelumi Giwa
- Dr. Luzaan Hamilton
- Dr. Sanderson Sabie Kuyeli
- Dr. Chengedzai Mafini
- Dr. Heleneze-Tiane Marais
- Dr. Thipe Isaaih Modipa
- Dr. Rachel Nishimwe-Niyimbanira
- Dr. Barnes Sookdeo
- Dr. Marko van Deventer
- Dr. Carin Venter
During the four-day graduation ceremony more than 1 400 students graduated – a record number of graduates for the Vaal Triangle Campus. In her address the acting Campus Rector said that 2016 represents a milestone year for the Vaal Triangle Campus in the sense that the Campus is celebrating its 50th anniversary as a site of deliver for higher education in the Vaal Triangle region. “Today we look back on our accomplishments and we are proud of our heritage; a heritage vested firmly within the community we serve and a heritage that speaks of sustainable growth, academic excellence and innovative research.
In closing, Prof Du Plessis shared with the graduates the responsibility that comes with the privilege of higher education: “Education will empower you, as it did earlier generations, to meet the tests of your own time. As graduates you have a great responsibility to be role models for your brothers and sisters, to be mentors in your communities and when the time comes, to pass that sense of education’s value down to your children, to pass down that sense of personal responsibility and self-respect, to pass down the work ethic that made it possible for you to be here today. Don’t ever shrink away from this duty. As the future leaders of South Africa, I trust that the leadership qualities that you demonstrate in the future will reflect the values that you refined during your years at the North-West University, and more so the Vaal Triangle Campus. Values that ascribe to the highest levels of academic distinction, academic freedom and accountability, respect and professional and personal integrity. History rarely yields to one person, but think, and never forget, what happens when it does. Think about icons such as Nelson Mandela and Nadine Gordimer. That can be you. That should be you. That must be you.”