In June this year, we launched the Isivivane Fund, the largest and most ambitious fundraising campaign in the 113-year history of Rhodes University. We have set ourselves a target of raising R1 billion in 10 years; reflective of the harsh reality that our needs and those of our students far exceed available resources.
This fund isan integrated approach to building and maintaining life-long relationships with stakeholders based on unique partnerships and is inspired by the Zulu saying “ukuphosa itshe esivivaneni” (to throw one’s stone on a pile or monument) or to make a personal contribution to a great common cause. It calls on us to ask what we stand for, what institutional commitments we will make to define who we are and who we will be decades and centuries from now.
Today I want to share with you my belief that the Isivivane Fund will enhance and enable Rhodes to educate tomorrows leaders today. When I was installed as Principal and Vice-Chancellor, I made two important commitments.
Firstly, to make sure that Rhodes University is accessible to students from rural and working class families and
Secondly, that I would make it my personal mission to ensure no academically deserving student who is in financial need is turned away from Rhodes University. This is no longer my commitment but that of our University and we believe that students with academic ability and will to succeed should be able to obtain a Rhodes degree. This is not a public relations exercise but a commitment that we want to be a university that is fully committed to accepting and supporting the most deserving students, regardless of their financial backgrounds or circumstances.
We are challenged to meet the demands of change - change that comes at us with increasing speed and unpredictability. This fund presents us with the opportunity and the necessity to seize the future in ways that will fulfil Rhode’s enduring promise to our students and our society. Seizing that impatient future is the goal of the Isivivane Fund. For me, the real triumph lies in our ability to honour and rival the efforts of those who have bequeathed this exceptional institution to us, and to strengthen it to an extraordinary one.
I ask you to be part of that CHANGE by casting your own stone on the cairn and create a motivating vision for the future.
Isivivane Fund, an integrated approach to building and maintaining life-long relationships with stakeholders based on the development of a unique and special partnership between Rhodes University, its students and alumni, and donors.
Inspired by the Zulu proverb “Ukuphosa itshe esivivaneni” (literally mean to throw one’s stone on the pile/monument) to make a personal contribution to a great common cause. This contribution is made in the spirit that everyone buys into and does their bit to create a motivating vision of the future. The arrangement of stones in an Isivivane is contributed by diverse people over time and so another way of seeing isivivane is as a form of collectively performed memory.
The main GOAL of Isivivane Fund is to secure sufficient funding from the community of Rhodes and beyond to ensure no academically capable but financially needy student (undergraduate and postgraduate) is refused entry to Rhodes University.
At Rhodes, we believe that if students have the academic ability and will to succeed, then their financial circumstance should not be a barrier to acquiring higher education. This is not a public relations exercise but a commitment made by our university that we want to be a university that is fully committed to accepting and supporting the most deserving students, regardless of their financial backgrounds or circumstances.
We understand that a campus composed of exceptional students, including those of meagre means, is a core element of a world-class university. When at Rhodes, students, are provided with intensive support structure and residential environment that is conducive to good scholarship and collegiality.
Today, our ability to attract the best talent from any and all backgrounds is still a defining characteristic of our university and something we take pride in. Through Rhodes’ generous student financial aid we have managed to transform lives, create dreams and hope where there was none. We want to continue with this trajectory but are mindful of cost implications attached to such a discourse.
We hope to achieve all this through the following objectives:
- Ensure undergraduate opportunities
- Increase post graduate intake
- Heighten student experience
- Grow endowment to ensure sustainability
Just as Rhodes will never stop seeking the best students, we must also constantly reaffirm our commitment to making a Rhodes education accessible to everyone. This initiative is our opportunity as a Rhodes community to make a significant statement to the world that we are truly “where leaders learn”.
It is our hope that you will see value in SUPPORTING this CAMPAIGN.