Explore, Dream and Discover
As the season changes, a new beginning dawned for graduates at the Vaal University of Technology as the first autumn graduation ceremony got under way on Monday 11 April 2016 at the Vanderbijlpark campus.
This year is particularly poignant for the institution as it celebrates 50 years of academic excellence - from its beginnings as a Technical College to a renowned University of Technology, drawing students from almost 30 countries and producing over 50 000 graduates.
Management, council members, captains of industry and other important dignitaries graced the occasion with their presence. Parents and guardians came from all parts of the country to join in the celebrations in honour of the graduates. The first day witnessed 457 graduates receive their diplomas and degrees. Among them were two students who graduated Magister Technologiae in Information Technology, a disabled student and a recipient of the Vice Chancellor's Award for a National Diploma in Biotechnology. Other special awards included The Council's Award, House of Roleen Floating Trophy and the Overall Best Student from the Faculty of Applied and Computer Sciences.
Guest Speaker Dr Robert Tshikhudo, from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), used humour to explain the importance for our country to produce black industrialists. His talk was aptly titled: Explore, Dream and Discover.
He encouraged graduates not to become complacent, telling them they can rest but should not quit: "Life is full of challenges, but don't ever lose sight of your goals. Persevere until the very end," he concluded.
In her address, VUT Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Irene Moutlana said there is a space in the world for each graduate to occupy: "You are not the future, but the future belongs to you; that's the difference," she said.
She said that a person's success is measured by the amount you give and do for others: "Despite all odds, you have reached the finishing line, so help others with your kind deeds to also get there. People are depending on your unique skills and talent. The Vaal University of Technology has proudly created highly employable graduates with unique skills; gatekeepers; agents of transformation and knowledge creators who can be instantly incorporated into different sectors of society. You may be young or poor, but never ignorant. You are future leaders and directors of companies. Graduates are produced to boost our economy and our country far beyond our region, thus even the world can join in our celebrations. We have what the world needs!"