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OLD RHODIAN AWARDS 2007

These awards were presented to Emeritus Professor Doug Rivett and Mr Terry Sutherland by the Vice-Chancellor at the Founders' Day Luncheon held in the Gavin Relly Postgraduate Village on Saturday 25 August 2007. The award to Ewan Copeland will be made at a special function to be held in London, UK in early 2008.

EWAN COPELAND (1963)

Ewan Albert Copeland graduated from Rhodes with Honours in Economics in 1966 and, as a Beit Fellow, received an MBA from the University of Cape Town in 1968.

Following assignments between 1968 and 1974 with Union Acceptances in Johannesburg and Johnson & Johnson in the United Kingdom, he joined Citibank in Johannesburg in 1974 and has remained with the bank for the past 33 years.

His career with the world’s largest banking group has involved assignments in New York; responsibility for the New England region of the United States; a period in Seoul, South Korea where he was head of the Corporate Bank; and a stint in Hong Kong where he was head of the bank’s Asia Pacific Multinational Group.

Currently Ewan is group executive and industry head responsible for bank clients in the consumer goods, retail, pharmaceutical and healthcare industries worldwide. Ewan’s client portfolio represents assets in excess of $50-billion.

Despite a demanding career, Ewan remains an active member of the Rhodes University Trust in the United Kingdom giving generously of his time and expertise in helping the University raise funds in the United Kingdom and the United States. He is also a generous personal donor to Rhodes.

Ewan displays many of the core values an Old Rhodian should aspire to. He is described by his sponsors as “a brilliant husband, father and executive”.

“A loving family man with a generous heart, Ewan is a very dynamic and alert person, compassionate of others, hugely organised and visionary, completely trustworthy and responsible, and he has a good sense of humour”.

DOUGLAS RIVETT (1939)

Douglas Eric Arthur Rivett was born in the Western Cape in 1921 and matriculated from Ceres High School in 1938. He obtained a BSc -- with distinctions in Physics and Chemistry -- from Rhodes University College in 1942 and an MSc in Organic Chemistry two years later.

For a period he worked at the Government Analyst’s Laboratory in what was then Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia and later as a Junior Lecturer at the University of Cape Town before proceeding to Cambridge University. There he obtained his PhD in organic chemistry in 1948 under the guidance of Nobel Laureate Lord Alexander Todd.

A Rockefeller Scholarship followed and Douglas left Cambridge for Princeton where he completed his postdoctoral studies before returning to South Africa to take up a position as Senior Research Officer at the CSIR, a position he held for eight years.

Following a brief encounter with the private sector he returned to Rhodes in 1962 as a Senior Lecturer, retiring 24 years later in 1986 as Professor of Organic Chemistry.

Douglas served on the South African Journal of Chemistry from 1958 to 1967 and was President of the South African Chemical Institute from 1978 to 1979. As a staunch Old Rhodian he also served on the Old Rhodian Union committee for over 20 years, including a number of years as President – and has hardly missed a meeting of Convocation in 50 years.

Douglas was an inspired teacher and made an enormous contribution to organic chemistry in South Africa. His name became synonymous with the popularisation of science in general and chemistry in particular. He has been the author or co-author of over 40 research papers and he is probably the only South African chemist ever to have continuously published his research over seven decades.

TERENCE JOHN SUTHERLAND (1967)

One would have to search far and wide to find a more loyal or committed Old Rhodian than Terry Sutherland. Currently chairman of the Rhodes Sports Foundation as well as the Johannesburg based Old Rhodian Golf Club. Terry has maintained an active and enduring interest in the welfare of his University for over 36 years.

Terry matriculated from Hilton College before registering at Rhodes where he obtained a BA degree in 1971. During this time he represented the University at hockey, soccer and golf and founded the Tiddlers Cricket Club, which saw Rhodes cricketers competing for the first time with teams from the local farming community.

On leaving Rhodes Terry completed an MBA at the University of Cape Town before entering the world of commerce and industry. However, he continued to play an important role for Rhodes with the work he has done in developing a network of Old Rhodians in the greater Johannesburg area through his able chairmanship of the Old Rhodian Golf Club.

In addition to being a social and business circle, this network has also supported many Old Rhodians who have found themselves in difficult circumstances. It has also nurtured close personal and professional relationships that have advanced the careers of Old Rhodians and helped alumni keep in touch with each other and with their University.

Equally laudatory, the efforts of the Old Rhodian Golf Club have raised considerable amounts of money which have given many talented but financially disadvantaged students the opportunity to study at Rhodes.

For 36 years Terry’s contribution to the University has been made without remuneration or public acknowledgement but with a genuine desire to help and support his alma mater.

In his professional life Terry is a director of a plastics company in Gauteng and he is highly regarded in his industry circles. He has been responsible for numerous innovations, not the least of them the design and local manufacture of collapsible water containers that today are widely used in emergency situations in South Africa and beyond.

There can be no doubt that Terry has achieved much in life – both professionally and personally. His enduring interest in the University together with these accomplishments are characteristic of an Old Rhodian of whom we all can be very proud.

Last Modified :Fri, 15 Jul 2011 15:00:38 SAST