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University to honour individuals’ significant contributions to society

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RHODES University has confirmed the recipients of its annual Honorary Doctoral degrees for 2024, which will be conferred between, April 3 and 5, 2024.

As the university reflects on 120 years of academic excellence during its RU120 celebrations, these Honorary Doctorates mark a pivotal moment in recognising and rewarding individuals who are leaders in their field – a fitting tribute from a university known as being the home of where leaders learn.

The Honorary Doctorates reflect the recognition of persons for their significant contributions to society, particularly in areas related to social justice, human rights, activism, and forerunners in their respective fields. Each individual is being honoured for their dedication to improving the lives of others, advocating for the marginalised, or advancing knowledge and understanding in their area of expertise. Each honoree has made notable efforts towards creating a more just and equitable society.

The Honorary Doctorate recipients for the April Graduation, 2024, are:

  • Archbishop Thabo Makgoba is to be conferred a Doctor of Laws (LLD) (honoris causa) in recognition of his significant contribution as a voice of reason and a conscience of our society, advocating against corruption and the abuse of power.
  • Ambassador Barbara Masekela is to be conferred a Doctor of Laws (LLD) (honoris causa) in recognition of her exceptional and sustained contribution as a cultural activist, literary scholar and advocate for social justice, human rights and human dignity.
  • Professor Irvy Gledhill is to be conferred a Doctor of Science (DSc) (honoris causa) in recognition of her long and distinguished contribution to research in physics, national and international leadership in physics, and human capital development, particularly with women in physics.
  • Mr Thandabantu August is to be conferred a Doctor of Laws (LLD) (honoris causa) in celebration of his courage, resilience, tenacity and tireless efforts to make a positive difference in the lives of many young people in the Eastern Cape.
  • Professor Sylvia Tamale is to be conferred a Doctor of Laws (LLD) (honoris causa) in recognition of her human rights activism and for being a fearless advocate for justice and dignity for the marginalised communities such as women and the LGBTQIA+ community.

In this exceptional year, graduation week will be jampacked with notable guests in Makhanda with the five ceremonies scheduled over Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

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