!!!!!!!UWC-Graduation-2016 (1) ADDRESS BY THE UWC SRC DEPUTY SECRETARY GENERAL ON THE OCCASION OF UWC GRADUATION - JULY 2016 Chancellor – Archbishop Tat’ uThabo Magkoba Chairperson of Council and Members of Council present, The Rector and Vice Chancellor, Prof T Pretorius (in absentia) Deputy Vice Chancellors in their respective portfolios, Executive Management, Deans of the respective Faculties, Professional Staff and Support staff, Fellow SRC colleagues, Parents and Guardians, Significant others and most of all our guests of honours today, The Grandaunts. I must say that it always somewhat terrifying for me to address a large amount of people as I’m always nervous as if it is the first time speaking in front of a lot of people. However, I always manage to calm my nerves by telling myself that I’m having a conversation with a group of friends. Nevertheless, it is indeed an honour to be speaking at such an auspicious gathering. Graduations are very special, they are important in our lives because they symbolise a turning point, a new page, and new beginnings. However it is important to not only focus on the graduation itself but also on what happens before and after graduation. Leading up to the graduation is years of hard work. • From all the sleepless nights. • Tests and exams which you are almost never fully prepared for. • Submissions • Personal challenges and difficulties • But through it all is the willingness and dedication that you have demonstrated in obtaining today's achievement through all these adversities presented to you. This ceremony is an acknowledgement by your lecturers that you have mastered a very difficult training programme that equips you to be an expert in your particular field of study and as such they want to announce to the world that you are therefore qualified and competent to be regarded as their peers. A graduation ceremony is not just an awarding of a degree but a license which states that you have the qualities to be the agents of social change. Some of you might not have obtained it in the prescribed period set out in your particular course. But you have manged to not give up and soldier on because you knew what you wanted to achieve. Look at the person to your right and look at the person to your left, appreciate and thank them for traveling this journey with you, because directly or indirectly so you have both assisted each other knowingly or unknowingly somewhere somehow in obtaining this esteem accomplishment. To the parents (single mothers, single fathers, guardians, uncles, aunts and significant others) we would like to thank you so much for role that you have played in ensuring that you provide the necessary support for the realisation of today’s achievement. To lecturers, tutors, mentors and peers, we also acknowledge the contribution you have made in facilitating, assisting and encouraging our esteemed guests of honours to be present in this earmarked milestone. As a concluding thought, the SRC would like to profusely extend its utmost congratulations once more on your prestige accomplishment, and advise you to use it wisely to advance the struggles and challenges of your respective communities and the country at large. There is a great need for people like ourselves out there and we should be vigilant of the opportunities available and present to us to make a significant impact in the world. Do not sell yourself short from the successes you have achieved, because you have truly attained the approval of being a player in the academic sector. Allow me to leave you with the great words of wisdom from the honourable uTat’ uNelson Rolihlahla Mandela saying that: “Education is the most powerful tool you can use to change the world” Therefore from this moment onward know that you behold the most powerful thing that can never be taken away from you. Wishing you all the best in your future endeavours. I know from what I have experienced thus far and what you have learnt at UWC, you have a solid foundation and I am certain that you will be successful. GOD BLESS YOU!!! .....I THANK YOU UWC SRC 15/16 Deputy Secretary General Zolani Mpumela