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19 October 2021
Full circle: Vera Adams returns to UWC

Vera Adams has come full circle. After graduating with a BSc in Botany and Zoology from the University of the Western Cape (UWC) in 2001, she has returned to the institution in the role of Manager: Fundraising and Donor Relations within Institutional Advancement (IA).

“I started my first year in 1999, and I can still remember my student number – 8908533,” jokes Adams.

She planned on becoming a teacher, but upon graduating enrolled for an Honours degree in Zoology. Adams also met her late husband and fellow alumnus, Roger Adams, who was a Sports Administrator. Adams started running while at UWC, a pastime she still enjoys.

“My degree set me up for a career in scientific research as a senior scientist at the Medical Research Council doing research on intestinal parasites in children.”

In 2009, Roger got a job at Rhodes University and the family moved to Grahamstown, where Adams joined the NGO, Science Festival, to drive fundraising. She has focused on fundraising both at Rhodes University’s Advancement Office and as the Manager of Development Services in Stellenbosch University’s Development and Alumni Relations.

“Even though I work in fundraising, the interest in science is still there. I am still involved in research, which allows me to work effectively in the sector I am in at the moment.”

Adams also has a Master’s degree in Science and a teaching qualification.

While her family could afford to pay for her university studies, Adams witnessed first-hand how friends who relied on bursaries struggled. Now she can make an impact on UWC’s financially disadvantaged students’ lives through her fundraising know-how.

“I chose UWC because I wanted to be in a space where I could use my skills and expertise to make a difference.”

“As subsidies are being cut and students are unable to pay their fees, universities are depending more on philanthropic donations as a third-stream income source to remain financially sustainable. The role of IA is crucial in ensuring that universities raise income through philanthropic donations to ensure that they can continue to provide quality teaching and learning.”