2012 Spring Graduation: Seize the moment
Spring is a season that is awaited by many, especially the VUT community as the events marked on the university’s calendar, bring forth many celebrations. Between 10 and 13 September 2012, the university celebrated eight graduation ceremonies in the Desmond Tutu Great Hall at the main campus in Vanderbijlpark. Gracing the event were management, staff, donors, members of the media and other prominent guests such as the VUT’s Chancellor, Adv Pansy Tlakula.
The VUT conferred 1302 degrees and diplomas during the September 2012 graduations and are proud that the number has increased from 1190 during the September 2011 graduations. The former number includes 3 honorary degrees and 23 masters’ degrees, a gradual increase from 14 masters’ degrees in September 2011. Some of the highlights during the graduation ceremonies included nine masters’ degrees in Science & Technology, which were conferred on five women and four men. This signifies the VUT’s invaluable contribution to the sought-after skills pool of Science & Technology which adds value to the economy of our country. It also indicates that more women are not daunted by the fields that were previously predominantly entered into by men.
The VUT can also boast about Student Representative Council (SRC) members who received degrees and diplomas, showing that the VUT produces young, dynamic and educated leaders of tomorrow. The graduations also recognized the executive leadership by conferring PALAMA (Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy) certificates. Seeing staff members receiving accolades is also a motivation for others to educate themselves further and climb the corporate ladder.
Guest speakers from various industries shared their knowledge and emphasised that the day marked a new chapter in graduates’ journey of success. Some speakers reminded them of key principles such as self-discipline, perseverance, self-motivation and focusing on the vision which will help graduates to succeed. Others challenged them by asking the following question: “What role will you play to ensure the betterment of the future for the generations to come?”
During the graduation week, the campus was abuzz from morning until late afternoon as two ceremonies were held every day. One was able to identify the graduates by their designer dresses, colourful stilettos, designer suits, bow ties and creative hairstyles. These proud graduates were accompanied by their parents, family members and friends to celebrate their achievements with those that have been their source of support. The hall was filled with sounds of ululation, blending with the golden voices of the VUT choir. Some parents praised their sons and daughters as they crossed the stage and jubilation was the order of the day.
In her congratulatory remarks, Prof Irene Moutlana: Vice-Chancellor & Principal of the VUT said to the graduates: “Your education does not stop with this graduation. What you have achieved has merely opened new doors of learning, research, communication and collaboration. You are now empowered to demonstrate what you are capable of. Make the very most of your life and the opportunities that you have been given by your lecturers, parents, donors, friends and families - you too must rise to your responsibility to give something back from what you have received. As the years pass your cohort will be judged and you yourself will begin to judge yourselves not only on what you do for yourself and your family, but on the contributions you will make to others – to the country, the community and your generation of children. The future belongs to you – take good care of it. Your integrity is your destiny; it is the light that guides you.”