Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng exchanges ideas at a UCT Legacy Society event at UCT’s Graduate School of Business in Johannesburg on 24 November.
The UCT Legacy Society hosted Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng at the Graduate School of Business campus in Sandton, Johannesburg on 24 November 2018, where the VC shared her vision for the university with members of the society and alumni.
Phakeng explained that her vision for the university were based on three interwoven principles: excellence, transformation and sustainability. Excellence without transformation was not sustainable, she argued.
“Transformation that does not recognise excellence has no integrity and it disrespects black people,” said Phakeng.
Phakeng also urged delegates to play an active role in developments at the university.
“You have our name on your CV. That name, you should be concerned about what it is becoming, because if it becomes something less than what you want it to be, it can mean that doors will close for you,” said Phakeng. “The stability of the campus, the quality of the academic programme, the standing of our scholars, all makes the name what it is, and it gives people the keys to open doors.”
Phakeng also urged guests to consider donating via the UCT Legacy Society.
“That’s important. It’s not only because you’ve got the money. There are so many other courses that you can give to. Why should you choose UCT?
“Here’s the thing: you can choose UCT because you recognise what it’s done to your life, your professional life, how it’s shaped your journey, your career and your life. But you can also give to UCT because you believe in its future. You believe, and you want to secure its future.
“You can ensure that what it did for you, it can do for many other students who will come even after you’re gone. That’s why we want you to give to the UCT Legacy Society.”
The VC asked guests to think beyond “just funding bursaries”.
“I want you to think about owning UCT. The people who own something do not only want to benefit from it by sending people to get something from it,” Phakeng pointed out. “They want to make sure it stands for a very long time, even after they’re gone. They don’t just want to fund someone who just wants to get a degree, but they’re worried about the cracks in the building, about maintaining the university, [so that] what it did to us, it must keep doing to other people. That’s positive, so I want you to think that way.”
Delegates also met UCT Registrar Emeritus Hugh Amoore, who took over as president of the Legacy Society in March 2018.
“The lifeblood of UCT is healthy. It’s coursing through the arteries and veins of UCT very well,” said Amoore. “But it needs oxygen. We’ve come through what to the outside may have seemed some difficult years. I think UCT is a stronger and better place for what’s happened over the last three to five years.
“We face UCT in 2018, 2019, with what I see as a renewed sense of shared identity and belonging. Secondly, a renewed commitment to the renewal and, in some cases, the change of our changing curriculum. Then, a recognition – and the rankings show this still – of UCT’s commitment to excellence in everything.”
The UCT Legacy Society is a vehicle for alumni and members of the public to leave a bequest for UCT in their estates.