UWC’s VC inspires business community
The University of the Western Cape hosted a business luncheon recently to introduce new Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tyron Pretorius, to business and possibly pave the way for further partnerships, collaborations and fundraising.
Top University management, including members of the executive, deans, members of the board of trustees and managers, engaged and networked with topCape-based business leaders in a nice relaxed atmosphere at the Westin Cape Town Hotel.
Patricia Lawrence, Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Department of Institutional Advancement, in which the Donor Relations unit (which organised the event) operates set the tone when she relayed the story of UWC - how the University has grown in leaps and bounds in its 55 years of existence to be a leader in a number of areas.
The gathering received a warm welcome in the spirit of the expressed sentiments of the occasion, being “…an opportunity for business to meet UWC and for the University to engage with the business community around areas of partnership and collaboration.”
Pretorius told how shocked he was when his mother told him that the character in The Number Biography - about a man his age who became a gangster in prison – was in fact his boyhood friend. “We grew up together. He was my childhood friend,” Pretorius told the business community. “Look at where he ended up and where I ended up. I got chills (when my mother told me) because by the grace of God, I’m what I am today. Not only because of the grace of God, but also because of the difference education made.”
He called on the business sector to partner with the University in its project of hope for the future through education.
“We have so many challenges in this country, and we can easily become despondent. As long as we have faith in education, as long as we have faith in the transformative power of education, those things become just entertainment.
“It doesn’t define our lives. What defines our lives is the next generation. It is the knowledge we introduce in University, the knowledge that makes a difference.”
It is the aim of UWC to become increasingly relevant to the dynamically changing needs of society and business through its ground-breaking research, innovation and engagements. Therefore, similar future interactions will form part of an ongoing exchange and the University invites all stakeholders to participate, partner and collaborate toward collective solutions for all spheres of society.
In conclusion the Rector articulated a campus-wide sentiment, “Ladies and gentlemen, I’m the new Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Western Cape and I would like to partner with you in this project of hope.”