Addressing the Gauteng Alumni, the Vice-Chancellor Professor Thoko Mayekiso said the university was proud of the graduates and the work that they continue to do outside the university.
“You are in many ways not only part of the shaping of our university’s history, but you’re now also part of ensuring it’s future. From humble beginnings a short six years ago, our institution is fast taking its rightful place amongst the higher education institutions. From small beginnings, something is emerging. All of you present here today, do not have the weight of history on your shoulders. But you are making history. You are pioneers and trailblazers,” she said.
Professor Mayekiso continued: “You are following in the footsteps of those who started in Limpopo. Pioneers are always privileged, yet having a huge responsibility of going where there is no path, and establishing that path. Significant starts usually do not happen amidst drama and fanfare. Mainly because when you make a new start, everyone is adopting a ‘wait and see’ attitude.”
Reminding the Alumni of their role in the affairs of the University, Professor Mayekiso said: “You as Alumni must use your own experiences to share with those still on campus on how to navigate uncertainty. Remember you are our brand ambassadors. The UMP brand will be enhanced if you strive to excel in all spheres of life you engage in, and promote the interests and welfare of UMP,” she said.
She further went on to share UMP’s vision for 2021 and the strategic plans that have been put in place to ensure the university reaches its goals, and works towards becoming a leading institution not only locally, but globally as well.
Some of the speakers at the event were key management such as the Director of Student Housing, Dr Nomvula Twaise; the Director of Library and Information Services, Ms Zanele Mathe; and Senior Director: New Infrastructure, Mr Dennis Mokotedi. All three speakers shared the developments at the university.
“We don't operate without being guided by policies. We have a beautiful library with vast resources and superior library spaces. With Covid19 we have made use of our technological tools. We have introduced instant chat tools and self-checkout machines which makes our state of the art library adaptable,” said Ms Mathe.
Speaking on behalf of the Convocation, Mr Moses Sithole explained the role of the Alumni. “Your role is to support and promote the UMP. You have to be connected with the institution and ensure that you promote and protect the interests of the University.”
The event was concluded with the election of the Chapter’s chairperson and the secretary. Following his election into the chairperson role, Mr Boifang Mokhine said, “Being a part of the UMP Gauteng Alumni launch, let alone being elected as its first chairperson, is an inexplicable experience! For the inquisitive me came as 'an empty cup (ready to be filled)', hungry for information as always. I walked out with new values and responsibilities added to my life, all of which may not have occurred if it was not through furthering my studies with the University of Mpumalanga. I will forever be grateful and I am ready to serve to the best of my abilities."
The secretary of the Chapter, Mr Floyd Monama said: “The Gauteng Chapter launch has brought a lot of hope to the hopeless. It has brought graduates closer to the foundation of knowledge and wisdom, which is UMP.”
Mr Sithole wished well the elected members and hoped to work with them in sharing the mandate of the Convocation and the University.
The Gauteng Chapter is the second to be launched by the University of Mpumalanga. Last year, the university launched the Limpopo Chapter.
@ Story by Lisa Thabethe. Pictures supplied.