Your input could make a difference
“A new road lies ahead for the Convocation of Stellenbosch University (SU). Consider participating and thereby making use of the opportunity to provide input on decision making at SU,” writes Dr Leslie van Rooi, Senior Director: Social Impact and Transformation and Vice-President of the SU Convocation.
We will remember 2020 and 2021 as a time of exceptional, challenging, shared experiences around the globe. No-one has been left untouched by the challenges of Covid-19. We will have to follow a different way of life for some time still – who knows, perhaps there has been a fundamental shift in our way of doing things. Only time will tell.
The impact of the virus on the university community, our alumni worldwide included, is evident from the messages we receive. For some, the challenges are greater and perhaps more permanent than for others.
It warms my heart that we also hear daily about more SU alumni who, in their own way, make a deep impact on the lives of so many others. Alumni use their time, skills and knowledge to make the world a better place indeed. It is inspiring and helps us to realise that everyone can and should make a difference. Especially now.
Messages from other parts of the world also help us to understand that our alumni and many other friends of SU realise that the economy of the town is under pressure. We would, therefore, also like to thank you for your support of those events aimed at reactivating the economy of Stellenbosch. Our thanks also to those new and existing donors who, under extremely difficult circumstances, keep on giving to provide support to those who have it worse.
I also have to congratulate SU management and students and every single SU staff member – in every capacity – on our campuses on the fact that our institution was able to align itself to become a university in the full sense of the word in record time and under abnormal circumstances. In this way, SU continues to establish itself more firmly as a leading university, where we are able to tackle current challenges, to think and act innovatively, and try to make an impact.
A new road lies ahead for the Convocation. In December 2020 we had our very first virtual Convocation meeting and a successful online election to fill all vacant positions on the Convocation executive committee. A total of 3 380 votes were recorded for the vacancy of President of Convocation, 3 397 for the position of secretary and 3 100 for the vacancy of an additional ordinary member.
In future, we would be able to virtually liaise, meet virtually and in person, and participate in elections from anywhere in the world, as the greater university community (in the true sense of the word). This offers us a much better platform for communicating, sharing and providing sorely needed input. The members of the executive committee play key roles with regard to input, advice and decision making at SU.
This is also a way of ‘giving back’ and maintaining contact with our alma mater. We need the very best thinkers, from diverse backgrounds and with diverse skills, from all over the world to make a difference at our institution.
This is how we take SU forward.
An Annual General Meeting of the Convocation is hosted each year, so be sure to look out for details of the AGM on our various social media channels and get involved with your alma mater!
Who are members of the Convocation?
All persons who have been awarded a qualification at a congregation (i.e. a graduation ceremony) of SU are members of the Convocation; so are the Rector, Vice-Rectors, Chief Operating Officer and all full-time academic staff. Full-time academic staff of SU also remain members of the SU Convocation after their retirement.
President: Adv Jan Heunis
Vice-President: Dr Leslie van Rooi
Secretary: Frederik van Dyk
Additional member: Esterbeth Singels
Additional member: Merlyn van der Rheede