By NWABISA MOYO, BJourn student
It is one thing to read about great historical moments in history books, but to be within history, as a critical participant, is something else altogether.
In a graduation event full of ‘firsts’ for Rhodes University, the 9.30 am ceremony on Wednesday 6 April showed Rhodes University alumnus Professor Steve Olivier capping honorary doctorate recipient Lord Peter Hain.
Olivier, the Vice-Chancellor at Robert Gordon University in Scotland, met with Hain – a politician, author, and highly influential anti-apartheid activist – in London last week to officiate and record the occasion.
Olivier said his rounded education at Rhodes University not only changed him but made him who he is.
His experience of capping Lord Hain affected him profoundly. “I was proud, but the overriding feelings were humility and gratitude. Peter’s principles and his willingness to act on them are an inspiration. Not many people can reflect as proudly as he can on an individual role in ending apartheid. The values he espoused spurred me and others, at Rhodes University and elsewhere, to smaller acts that hopefully had a positive cumulative effect.”
Olivier believes Hain to be an incredibly worthy recipient of a Rhodes University honorary doctorate. “The University has done well to recognise his achievements and the ideals he has stood for. His values are congruent with the principles of justice, equality, opportunity and collegiality that Rhodes University has espoused,” he said.
The remaining graduation ceremonies will be available on a live stream at the following link: https://www.ru.ac.za/graduationgateway/livestream/
Source: Rhodes University Communications