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24 January 2018
​​UWC in the Hood (family)
William-John Hood has no memory of his first experience of the University of the Western Cape. That’s because Hood, who graduated with his first degree in industrial psychology early in 2017 and is now pursuing his honours degree, was only one month old and in the audience when his mother Leonora was being capped at graduation.

Along with Leonora Hood, who completed her social work degree in the early 1990s, his father Wilfred obtained his BA in 1997, and aunt Catherine Booysen, who now works overseas, earned her degree in education at UWC. Wilfred is now the Principal of Stratford Primary School in Eerste River and Leonora works for the Department of Social Development.

Each had a different motivation to study at UWC. For Leonora it was the proximity of the University to her Ravensmead home. “I had to hitch-hike to and from campus every day or otherwise I had to walk,” she remembers.

Graaf Reinet-born Wilfred says he had wanted to go to university after completing teaching diplomas at colleges in the Southern Cape. After moving to Cape Town to work, UWC became the obvious choice.

And what influenced William-John’s decision? He says, “UWC is a very good institution and it has always been my first choice because of the high quality education it offers, the type of people with whom I can associate myself and fit with very well, and the fees are affordable compared to other universities.” 

The senior Hoods have many fond memories of their time on campus. “There were lots of highlights at UWC, like the friends you met and the support you got. We were fresh from school and didn’t know where to start but you could go to any lecturer to help you through. Their doors were always open for us and they actually knew us by name,” Leonora says.

Their dinner table hosts the occasional weird campus anecdote. Like when William-John got an SMS from a lecturer stating that he had scored 1% for a test. “I had studied very hard for the test so I went to the lecturer and found that he had in fact mistyped.  I had scored 98%!”

“It has been years since we left UWC but whenever we make a turn there we still feel at home. We still have that feeling of belonging,” Wilfred adds.​