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Rhodes University marks 120 years with memorable graduation

Date Released: Wed, 10 April 2024 09:47 +0200

By The Division of Communication and Advancement


The autumn 2024 graduation ceremonies at Rhodes University were not just a testament to the hard work and dedication of its students, but also a highlight of the University's 120th-anniversary celebrations. Held from 3-5 April 2024, the six ceremonies embodied the spirit of excellence and leadership that Rhodes University is renowned for.

This year, amidst the #RU120 graduation events, the University honoured five individuals with honorary degrees, acknowledging their contributions to society and their respective fields.

  • Archbishop Thabo Makgoba received a Doctor of Laws (LLD) for his advocacy against corruption and his role as a societal conscience.
  • Ambassador Barbara Masekela was honoured with a Doctor of Laws (LLD) for her lifelong commitment to cultural activism, literature, and the fight for human dignity.
  • Professor Irvy Gledhill earned a Doctor of Science (DSc) for her contributions to physics and her efforts to support women in the science field.
  • Mr Tandabantu August was awarded a Doctor of Laws (LLD) for his work with the youth in the Eastern Cape, demonstrating remarkable resilience and dedication.
  • Professor Sylvia Tamale received a Doctor of Laws (LLD) for her advocacy for marginalised communities, pushing for equality and justice.

One of the most touching moments of the ceremonies involved graduand Khubalo Mpofu, who had lost her mother. In a heartfelt gesture, she requested, via social media, for the mothers present to ululate for her as she walked the stage. The overwhelming response and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor's act of hooding Mpofu highlighted the ceremonies' sense of community and solidarity.

Following each ceremony, garden parties allowed graduates, faculty, and families to come together, fostering a sense of camaraderie and joy. Makhanda embraced the festivities, with decorations at key locations adding to the celebratory atmosphere.

A notable event of the week was the Grand Alumni Ball, which gathered esteemed guests and alumni for a night of elegance and celebration. This event also marked the launch of a scholarship initiative by Old Rhodian Dr Alastair Mokoena, aimed at supporting students facing financial difficulties.

In parallel, a Rhodes University-hosted journalism summit addressed critical issues facing the media today, including the impact of AI, challenges to media independence, and the protection of free speech.

The 2024 graduation ceremonies were more than just a celebration of academic accomplishments; they were a reflection of Rhodes University's enduring commitment to fostering leadership, integrity, and community engagement.

Rhodes University expresses its heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to making the graduation ceremonies a resounding success.

The April graduation ceremonies can be found on the Rhodes University YouTube channel.

Source:The Division of Communication and Advancement