Miss South Africa, provincial education leader and 81-year-old British Knight receive degrees from the University of Pretoria

Posted on April 24, 2012

The graduates included Ms Melinda Bam, the current Miss South Africa, who this morning received a BCom degree in Marketing Management (cum laude). She responded to a question by saying, “My studies and my work as beauty queen and ambassador play equally important roles in my life – one part of my life would not be complete without the other. These two roles complement each other.”

Ms Reginah Mhaule, MEC for Education in Mpumalanga, was the recipient of a master’s degree in Public Administration. “As the protectors of education and leaders in the lifelong learning process, we should lead by example. I hope that this achievement will inspire our youth to make good use of the opportunities offered to them through education and that they will realise that South Africa is indeed brimming with opportunities,” she commented shortly before she received her degree.

Four honorary doctorates were also awarded during the Autumn Graduation Ceremonies to the following persons:

  • the well-known theologian Prof Klaus Bilfried Nürnberger (DD (honoris causa));
  • Prof Pieter Schalk Groenewald, former Head of the Department of African Languages (DLitt (honoris causa));
  • Prof Santosh Madhava Warrier, a prominent scientist in the field of geology (DSc (honoris causa)); and
  • Prof Beric William Skews of the University of the Witwatersrand (DEng (honoris causa)).

A fifth honorary doctorate, awarded to the British architect and design guru Sir Terence Conran (81), will be conferred in London, England, later this year. Unfortunately ill health prevented Sir Terence from travelling to South Africa to receive the honorary doctorate in Architecture (DScArch (honoris causa)) awarded to him by UP.

This year’s recipients of the Award of the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, who are the top academic achievers in the nine faculties, were also announced this month. They are:

  • Education – Ms Charnene Weller
  • Natural and Agricultural Sciences – Mr Andrew Stuart Graham
  • Engineering – Ms Nikita Edwards
  • Theology – Mr Justin William Taylor
  • Economic and Management Sciences – Ms Danielle Elizabeth Aston
  • Law – Sarah Jane McGibbon
  • Health Sciences – Mr Dawid Nicolaas Prinsloo
  • Humanities – Ms Marinei Nel
  • Veterinary Science – Ms Jeanné Botha

After Unisa, UP is the South African university that annually confers the most bachelor’s and honours degrees. In 2011, UP held 42 graduation ceremonies during which a total of 13 291 degrees, diplomas and certificates were awarded to successful candidates. All nine faculties, as well as the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) in Johannesburg, were involved in the graduation ceremonies. Last year’s ceremonies were held not only on the UP campuses in Pretoria and Johannesburg, but also in Polokwane, Nelspruit, Durban and East London.

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