UP awards nine top-performing graduates for undergraduate excellence

Posted on May 26, 2021

Nine University of Pretoria (UP) students across all nine faculties were recently awarded the Vice‐Chancellor and Principal’s medal for maintaining an excellent average throughout their undergraduate studies. The medals were awarded to them during this year’s autumn virtual graduation ceremonies.

The award includes an amount of R3 000, a certificate signed by Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe, and a medal engraved with the student’s details.

“Congratulations on working hard throughout your undergraduate years, and for maintaining excellent grades,” said Prof Kupe. “The University is proud of your achievements; we hope you fly the UP flag high and become great ambassadors of this institution. We also hope that you come back to further your studies with UP.”

Monica Manilal of the Faculty of Economic Management and Sciences graduated with a BCom in Financial Sciences and achieved a cumulative weighted average of 92.59% throughout her degree; she is pursuing a BCom (Hons) in Financial Management Sciences. “I feel very proud and happy for being recognised by the Vice-Chancellor of UP,” she said.

Jaco-Louis Venter of the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology graduated with a BEng degree in Chemical Engineering and achieved a cumulative weighted average of 92.62% throughout his degree. He is doing a BEng (Hons) degree in Electronic Engineering, specialising in Process Control and Optimisation; he plans to continue with a master’s degree next year. “I see it as a great honour to receive this recognition for the hard work I have put in over the past four years,” said Venter. “I also feel it is my responsibility to use my skills to contribute to our society.”

Liandri Badenhorst of the Faculty of Education graduated with a BEd (Senior and FET) and achieved a cumulative weighted average of 88.03% throughout her degree. “I am so grateful and excited about this award,” said Badenhorst, who is currently working as a teacher. “I did not even know that such an award existed, let alone that I would be recognised for an award like this.”

Casha-Mae Schoonraad of the Faculty of Humanities graduated with a BA General degree and achieved a cumulative weighted average of 90.54% throughout her studies. She is enrolled for a BA (Hons) degree in Criminology. “It is a great honour to have been recognised by the VC of UP!” she exclaimed. “I always try my best in all that I do, and the fact that I was successful encourages me to keep giving my best. This award makes all the long nights and endless hours of studying worth it.”

Felix Schröder of the Faculty of Law graduated with an LLB and achieved a cumulative weighted average of 81,73% throughout his degree; he is studying towards a master’s degree and is enrolled in the LLM International Law course. “It feels really rewarding to have done well in my studies and I am proud of my achievement,” he said. “I feel incredibly honoured to have been recognised by the Vice-Chancellor and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to study at UP.”

James Murray Louw of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences graduated with a BSc degree in Mathematics and achieved a cumulative weighted average of 97.14%; Louw is enrolled for a BSc (Hons) degree in Mathematics. “It is a great privilege to be acknowledged by the VC for my academic achievements. Looking back at my undergraduate years, I realise there were a lot of hard times and weeks that I thought I would not make it through. But in the end, everything turned out amazingly. I want to glorify God who carried me through it all. He is my rock in hard times, and working diligently on my academic studies is how I worship him for what he has given me.” 

Leigh Kairuz of the Faculty of Veterinary Science graduated with a BVSc (Bachelor of Veterinary Science) and achieved a cumulative weighted average of 84.72% throughout her degree; she is currently doing community service as well as furthering her studies, a diploma in Veterinary Clinical Sciences. “It was a great deal of hard work, but worth it in the end,” said Kairuz. “It is an honour to have been taught by and to have worked with the dedicated and passionate veterinarians and nurses at Onderstepoort. These six years have been an amazing journey with a special group of people who are now my colleagues. To be recognised by the Vice-Chancellor is an honour and a privilege.”

The following students also received the Vice‐Chancellor and Principal’s medal:

Damien Joubert of the Faculty of Theology and Marlé Gräbe of the Faculty of Health Sciences.

- Author Xolani Mathibela

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