UCT presented one honorary degree in August 2008, and two in December 2008.
Professor Jonathan Dorfan was presented with a Doctor of Science degree. He obtained a BSc degree in physics and applied mathematics from UCT in 1969, and later obtained a PhD in experimental particle physics from the University of California, US. Upon acquiring his doctorate in 1976, he joined the Stanford Linear Accelerator Centre (SLAC) as a postdoc, and two years later as a staff scientist. He was promoted to associate professor in 1984, full professor in 1989, and associate director in 1994. As SLAC director, Dorfan managed the most important transition in the history of the laboratory. Traditionally a single-purpose particle physics research centre, SLAC has become a multi-programme laboratory, whose largest programme in 2009 will be in photon science.
Citation for admittance to the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.
Claire Palley received the Doctor of Laws degree. A South African, Palley was the first woman to become a law professor in the UK and the dean of a law school. She graduated with an LLB from UCT in 1952. In 1965 she obtained her PhD from the University of London. She has an MA from the University of Oxford (1984) and an LLD (honoris causa) from Queen's University, Belfast. She began her academic career as a lecturer in law at the University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (1960 - 1965). After leaving Rhodesia, Palley moved on to a distinguished career as a scholar. Between 1971 and 1973 she was dean of the Faculty of Law at Queen's University. In 1974 she became master of Darwin College, University of Kent at Canterbury, and from 1984 to 1991 was the principal of St Anne's College, Oxford. She pioneered the way for women in academic law in a profession known for its conservatism.
Citation for admittance to the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
In August 2008 UCT awarded an honorary degree to the late Professor Archie Mafeje for his achievements as one of Africa's greatest social scientists and to celebrate his huge intellectual contribution to emancipation in Africa.
Mafeje began his studies at Fort Hare and completed a BSc at UCT in 1959. His political activism led him to switch from the natural sciences to the social sciences, and he gained an MA in social anthropology at UCT in 1965 (cum laude).
He was studying for a PhD at Cambridge University in England when in May 1968 UCT Council unanimously approved his appointment as a senior lecturer in Social Anthropology. A month later, after pressure from the apartheid government, Council withdrew the appointment, and made known "its future inability to appoint non-white persons to academic posts, unless allowed to do so in special circumstances."
This decision was met by vehement protest from UCT student leaders and a number of academic staff. In August 1968, about 600 UCT students began an occupation of Bremner Building, which lasted for nine days, demanding that the UCT Council reconsider its decision to withdraw Mafeje's appointment. Instead, Council agreed to establish an Academic Freedom Research Award in honour of Mafeje and placed a plaque in the library recording that the government had taken away its right to appoint lecturers at its own discretion.
UCT awarded one honorary degree in May 2008, and three at the graduation ceremony on 13 June 2008.
Advocate George Bizos received the degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD). He acted as an advocate in the 1950s for Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo's law firm, and had a part in all the major trials of the 50-year-long struggle against apartheid. He is credited with helping craft Mandela's impassioned plea to the court in the famous Rivonia Trial, said to have swayed the judge from passing the death sentence on Mandela.
Citation for admittance to the degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD), honoris causa.
Dr Lillian Cingo was presented with a Doctor of Social Science degree. Born in 1938, she is a dedicated health professional who has integrated her vocation in nursing with an everincreasing focus on development among, especially, isolated communities.
Citation for admittance to the degree of Doctor of Social Science, honoris causa.
Dr Eric Goemaere received a Doctor of Science (Med). Among his many achievements, Goemaere initiated the first comprehensive HIV treatment programme in the primary care public health sector in Khayelitsha, funded by Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), through which he forged strong links with UCT.
Citation for admittance to the degree of Doctor of Science (Med), honoris causa.
Lord Leonard Wolfson was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science (DSc) honoris causa in London on 14 May 2008. Lord Wolfson is the founding trustee and current Chairman of the Wolfson Foundation which was founded in the United Kingdom in 1955. Through the Foundation, he has had a significant impact in supporting areas of higher education, and medical and scientific research in the United Kingdom, Israel and South Africa.