South Africa: Your Excellence Bolsters the UCT Community

Dear colleagues and students

On Thursday evening, 28 November, the University of Cape Town (UCT) executive and about 520 colleagues celebrated the UCT Annual Awards 2019 - our way of recognising staff members who have served the UCT community with exceptional loyalty, excellence and passion, and whose work makes a tangible difference to the students, colleagues and other stakeholders we serve as an institution.

We honoured 127 recipients of Long Service Awards; 98 ad hominem promotees; two recipients of the Distinguished Teacher Award: Associate Professor Jeff Murugan and Dr Anneliese Schauerte, both of the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics; and Professor Sebastian van As, the head of the Red Cross Children's Hospital Trauma Unit, who received the Alan Pifer Research Award in recognition of his important research into child safety in South Africa over the past 20 years.

The UCT Vice-Chancellor's Awards were awarded for the first time this year, and we celebrated with the first recipients: the Innovative Finance Team at the Graduate School of Business Bertha Centre received the Global Citizenship award; Mrs Monique Muller, the Chemical Safety Officer in the Department of Chemistry in the Faculty of Science received the award for Service Excellence; and the marketing section of the Faculty of Commerce received the Transformation award.

Of course, with close to 6 500 permanent and contract staff members at UCT, there are not enough awards to acknowledge all the excellent work that so many of you do every day. But UCT is committed to being your employer of choice, and I want you to know how much we appreciate the many different ways you each help to build up the UCT community.

I believe one important reason why UCT tends to stay at or near the top of the international university rankings is because each of you bring your passion to do the best possible job. Whether you control traffic, drive a Jammie Shuttle, protect our institutional databases from cybercriminals, provide meals for students, conduct research, manage the libraries or deliver lectures, every job at UCT translates into a way to change the world for the better. That passion, in turn, translates into quality that is measurable and that helps us to be ranked as the top university in Africa and one of the top 200 in the world.

I hope you take this message to heart, because it is important to me that you know how much you each do to help make UCT what it is today, and what it is becoming. Thank you for doing what you do, and for doing it with care and passion. UCT is excellent because you are.

Sincerely

Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

Vice-Chancellor

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