UKZN Virtual Graduation

Professor Nana Poku

MESSAGE FROM THE VC AND SRC PRESIDENT

TO THE GRADUATING CLASS OF 2020

Mr Sifiso Simelane

Click here for the isiZulu Version

Our heartiest congratulations to the graduating Class of 2020.

We much regret that we are unable to host you and your families in person this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, the cause for celebration is unchanged. The University fully understands that you need your academic credentials to proceed with your future plans, and this cannot wait. We will soon be providing details of how you will receive your graduation certificate (an eCertificate version initially) and your graduation booklet. We are committed to holding an in-person ceremony when it is safe to do so. It will be our pleasure to welcome all of our 2020 graduates and their families back to the University so that we can celebrate our numerous accomplishments.

Graduation is always a time of heightened emotions that reflect a significant time in your lives and for your families, friends, and everyone else who has had the privilege of nurturing and supporting you. Importantly, your degree represents your mastery of the body of knowledge you have learnt; it is also a testament to your character, ambitions, resilience, stamina, and determination.

There is more to achieving a degree than the degree itself. It is also the culmination of a period in your life when you have developed in so many other ways. You have expanded your horizons, reached a new founded appreciation of community and humanity (or camaraderie). You have a sense of common purpose and not least by gains in your confidence and abilities. You have also made the kinds of friendships that last a lifetime—it is indeed an invaluable gift.

We hope that all of these attributes will find expression in you, even under these historically unprecedented, constrained conditions. Your reserves of resilience and stamina, your capacity for careful thought and patience, and your moral bearings are already being tested in advance of anything we would have hoped for you a few short months ago.

Throughout the world, countless individuals and communities are absorbing the practical meanings of what it means to be so fundamentally interconnected – when we face our fears, we can transform them through compassion; and that we can emerge from the current crisis still more firmly committed to generosity and kindness – and to new ways of being and also acting.

Again, thank you for standing alongside us as we take steps to respond to this unprecedented and extraordinary situation. As a University, we will also strengthen our efforts to ensure that we continue to focus on the key issues facing humanity – to meet our obligations to broader society beyond education and research.

Once again, please accept our warmest congratulations to the Class of 2020, and to your family and friends who have supported you. We wish you every success.

Professor Nana Poku
Vice-Chancellor and Principal
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Mr Sifiso Simelane
SRC President
University of KwaZulu-Natal