by Dante Piras

Rewarding excellence

The Council of Stellenbosch University will be awarding 6 honorary degrees

Mozambique's Former president, Joaquim Chissano
Former President Joaquim Chissano

Stellenbosch University is known for producing some of the countries top scholars. This time, it includes the former President of Mozambique as well as 6 honorary graduates. 

The group of graduates consists of an internationally renowned innovator within the field of water purification, a physicist and the governor of the Reserve Bank. There is also a leader within the South African union movement, who played a pivotal role in ensuring that South Africa hosts the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope. The group includes a biochemist who has made his trademark in higher education in the Western Cape and in medical research. Last but certainly not least, there is a world-renowned heart researcher. They will all be honored by Stellenbosch University (SU) for their exceptional contributions to the international and South African society.

SU annually awards honorary degrees in order to showcase and reward excellence in a variety of fields. These individuals are identified as role molds for the University community.

The Council of Stellenbosch University will be awarding six honorary degrees: 

  • Dr James Laing Barnard: the degree Doctor of Science (DSc), honoris causa; 
  • Pres Joaquim Alberto Chissano: the degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), honoris causa; 
  • Dr Bernard Lewis Fanaroff: the degree Doctor of Engineering (DEng), honoris causa; 
  • Prof Wieland Gevers: the degree Doctor of Science (DSc), honoris causa; 
  • Governor Gill Marcus: the degree Doctor of Commerce (DComm), honoris causa; 
  • Prof Lionel Henry Opie: the degree Doctor of Science (DSc), honoris causa.

Depending on their availability, the honorary degrees will be conferred on the recipients either on 14 December 2012 or on 14 March 2013.

An honorary doctorate is awarded by SU to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the promotion of a branch of science, art or culture or who has made an outstanding contribution to service to the community in his/her field, for example in the area of science, social sciences, technology, commerce, finance, education, social welfare, religion, law, management and politics. 

Candidates should enjoy national and/or international recognition in their respective fields and an honorary degree is usually only awarded on the basis of achievements or contributions that are still of topical interest. The contributions for which the candidates are honoured should be reconcilable with the University’s aspirations and strategic objectives.

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