Gala Dinner the Culmination of Centenary Celebrations
2010/11/26 08:05:23 AM
From left: Mr Mac Mia, Chair of Council; Mr Imtiaz Sooliman and his wife Zohra; Ms Nomonde Mbadi, Executive Director:Corporate Relations; Professor John Mubangizi, Acting Vice-Chancellor; and Mr Bruno van Dyk, Director: UKZN Foundation .
The culmination of the celebration of 100 years of academia in KwaZulu-Natal, a gala dinner at the Durban Exhibition Centre on November 18 encompassed forthright speakers, vibrant dance and eclectic music. Hundreds of guests comprising the diplomatic corps, ministerial officials; KwaZulu-Natal’s academic community, UKZN alumni and students joined in the celebration.
Keynote speaker, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, the Chairman of the Gift of the Givers Foundation and a UKZN alumnus said that South Africans in general ought to be educated and skilled in order to be able to compete with the best in the world. To this end, it is important that the University review its academic programmes regularly to provide career-orientated qualifications.
While aware that learning programmes at UKZN have produced graduates who went on to make valuable contributions to their country and the world, Dr Sooliman added that the University must ensure that donor funding is used for relevant research and training so that students leave the University armed with skills to empower communities and carry out their jobs with humanity and compassion.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Law and Management Studies, Professor John Mubangizi said the presence of guests representing several spheres of society signified a broad range of support for the advancement of Higher Education and a commitment to a legacy of empowering future generations. Presenting a snapshot of UKZN’s history, an institution originally known as the Natal University College at inception in 1910 in Pietermaritzburg, Professor Mubangizi said it was important to reflect on the pioneers who championed Higher Education and those responsible for the growth of education at the Institution over the decades.
Mr Bruno van Dyk, the Executive Director of the UKZN Foundation, described the past achievements of UKZN as “sterling” and said the Foundation was proud of its role as “dream-maker”. He indicated that the Foundation was deserving of this title by the mere fact that its fundraising efforts have generated funds to cover student fees for those who would otherwise not be able to study; innovative research has been support by the Foundation; and several centres of education and research have received support. However, to continue ensuring dreams reach fruition, Mr van Dyk said donor support was important. He encouraged alumni to fund UKZN’s activities at an opportune time – when the University celebrated 100 years of academic in the province.