UWC marks 60th anniversary

A picture taken in the 1960s of UWC

The University of Western Cape (UWC) has launched a new website, 60.uwc.ac.za, to celebrate its 60th anniversary.

UWC’s acting rector and vice-chancellor, Professor Vivienne Lawack, said the university’s plans for a special function on March 25 had had to be set aside because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We were forced to think differently about our future, while staying true to the values of our past.” 

The institution had had to find ways to adapt to the lockdown, including holding virtual graduation ceremonies, he said. 

“In this challenging period, UWC scientists have helped decode the genome of Covid-19 to find answers to curb its spread and contribute towards finding a vaccine. Our researchers have also examined the impact of the pandemic and the lockdown on South African society, from big business to spaza shops. And our academics have worked to keep the public informed of the latest developments in the battle against Covid-19, and what they mean for all of us.”

On the website, visitors can watch a video celebrating the anniversary, explore a timeline of the university’s history and read about famous alumni. 

The university has appealed to the public to support its No Student Will be Left Behind campaign, to ensure students have laptops and data to continue their studies online during the lockdown. So far more than R20 000 has been donated. 

Deidre Jooste, a UWC alumnus, said she had donated to the campaign because she had received a lot of financial support from the university, which had helped her to graduate.

“This campaign gives me an opportunity to do the same for others,” she said.

Former UWC chancellor Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu said that the was proud of the institution and the progress it had made.

“Since I stepped down as chancellor, it has been thrilling to see the institution continue to grow under a new generation of leaders. May God richly bless my dearly beloved UWC and all her people, past and present.”