UWC gets a R3million donation
From an initial donation of R100 in 1972 to a whopping R3 million in 2015, the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and The Foschini Group (TFG) met on Thursday, 12 February 2015 to celebrate this long and prosperous relationship.
As UWC Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tyrone Pretorius, put it at this cheque hand-over ceremony, the University is hardly recognisable to what it was some 10 years ago as it had grown to such an extent that even its fiercest critics were caught by surprise!
This is due to a wide range of partnerships with community, government and the business community, Pretorius told a delegation from TFG.
“So we value those partnerships because it’s only through those partnerships that we achieve what we do. So I’d like to on behalf of the university, and on behalf of those faculties that are set to benefit from your contribution, thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Pretorius explained how UWC, as an historically disadvantaged university, was created for a particular racial group, underfunded and under-resourced and never meant to engage in serious intellectual academic and scientific work.
“Today the University is ranked among the top institutions in the country and is the leader in certain disciplines. The architects of apartheid never thought we would be practising such serious science at UWC.”
Adele Smith, head of resourcing at TFG, said the renewed partnership was like igniting old flames which has grown into a strategically sustainable long-term collaboration. “For many of us at the facts the stats that were shared with us is a story that we felt until that point, is untold,” she told Pretorius and his contingent. “We are so glad that you are telling the story and we would like to tell the story with you.
Smith cited UWC’s relentless commitment to research, science and innovation, its legacy and people (for embracing diversity and transformation) as well as its vision and determination to defy the odds to succeed, as compelling. “Today as a group of 18 retailers we are proud to add few zeros to that initial R100 few years ago. You submitted a most compelling funding proposal for R1million but after we heard your story and experience we could not possible do just one but three.”
Smith noted that as business, TFG believes in professionalism, resilience, integrity, dignity and respect, as well as empowerment and excellence - values that they have seen echoing the walls at UWC. As a growing retail group we continue to face challenges that we have no answers to, and we do need your help. We believe in a mutual rewarding partnership.”