Stellenbosch University (SU) will confer honorary doctorates upon six outstanding individuals who have made valuable contributions in the fields of medicine, literature, the performing arts, business, science, education and community development.
Four women who are known for their outstanding track records in the fields of medicine, literature, performing arts, business and science, are set for even greater heights as Stellenbosch University bestows them with honorary doctorates.
Among those to be honoured by the university in 2021 is Louisa Mojela, a South African entrepreneur and business-person who became Africa’s first woman to lead a publicly traded cannabis company, Halo — a US cannabis extraction company. Mojela is also the group CEO of Women Investment Portfolio Holdings and champion of women’s empowerment.
Another woman leader to be honoured is Prof Agnes Binangwaho, a Rwandan paediatrician and former health minister who fought to provide Rwandan girls with HPV vaccinations to lower their chances of getting cervical cancer.
Stellenbosch University spokesperson Martin Viljoen said the six recipients will be honoured for their “tireless commitment and extraordinary efforts to make a positive difference in people’s lives”, which resonated with the university’s vision of “being globally recognised as excellent, inclusive and innovative, and where knowledge is advanced in service of society”.
They include the CEO of Artscape and activist for the empowerment of disadvantaged groups, Dr Marlene le Roux, and author and internationally acclaimed literature expert Prof Marlene van Niekerk.
Maths educationist and chairperson of Umalusi Prof John Volmink and mathematician and scientist Prof Daya Reddy are the only two men of the six.
Binagwaho is to receive a doctoral degree in science (DSc) (medicine and health sciences), Mojela will receive a degree of Commerce (DCom). Reddy will also be honoured with a DSc while Van Niekerk will be awarded with doctoral degree in arts and social sciences (DPhil). Volmink will receive an honorary degree in education (DEd). Le Roux will also be awarded a DEd.
Viljoen said the honorary doctorates “are a way of acknowledging the remarkable work of individuals who are regarded as role models and an inspiration to Stellenbosch graduates”.