Honorary degrees awarded

Honorary Degrees 2007

In December 2007 the university conferred 6 honorary doctorates.

An honorary doctorate (LLD) honoris causa was awarded to Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. The degree was accepted on her behalf by fellow Nobel Peace Laureate Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu, at a graduation ceremony on 10 December, which is International Human Rights Day.

Download Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu's speech, made on behalf of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Prof Mark Dry

Professor Mark Dry received an honorary doctorate in engineering science.

He obtained his BSc and MSc degrees at Rhodes University and his PhD at Bristol University in the United Kingdom. He returned to South Africa in 1958 to join Sasol. He retired in 1993 after 35 years of service to take up a position as honorary professor in UCT's Department of Chemical Engineering.

Download the citation.

Lord Steyn

Lord Steyn (Johan van Zijl Steyn) received an honorary doctorate in law.

He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship after graduating with BS LLB from the University of Stellenbosch. He studied at University College in Oxford, then returned to South Africa where he joined the Cape Bar.

In 1973 he emigrated to the United Kingdom. In 1985 he was appointed to the ranks of the Commercial Court. He was elevated to the Court of Appeal and shortly thereafter he was appointed a Law Lord and member of the Privy Council. His work, Democracy through Law: Selected speeches and judgments, was recently published.

David Kramer

David Kramer received an honorary doctorate in literature.

He was awarded a bursary to study at Leeds University in the United Kingdom, where he graduated with honours in 1974.

He began his musical career performing at folk clubs and campus concerts across South Africa in the early 1980s. His first album was banned by the SABC. He went on to earn 11 gold and one platinum record for his albums. His interest and passion is exploring the South African identity, and the thrust of the five musicals he wrote with Taliep Petersen and one on his own, is in the retelling of a suppressed history.

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Taliep Petersen

The late Taliep Petersen received an honorary doctorate in literature.

He studied at the Fitznell School of Music in the United Kingdom. He joined forces with David Kramer in 1986 when they wrote their first musical, District Six. This was followed by Fairyland, which ran for three years. Kat and the Kings was their big international success, which was performed for 10 years, including a run on the West End and Broadway.

A family member of Petersen accepted the degree on his behalf.

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Prof George Philander

Professor George Philander received an honorary doctorate in science.

He graduated with a BSc from UCT in 1962 and received his PhD from Harvard University in 1970.

He joined the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Programme at Princeton University where he has been ever since. He currently holds the Knox Taylor Chair of Geosciences and until recently was the chair of the Department of Geosciences at that university. He has published widely, including six papers in the journal Nature and four in the journal Science.

Download the citation.