While 2013 proved to be a busy and productive period for the university, the year's achievements were eclipsed by the passing of Nelson Mandela on December 5.
As many of you will know, the university community enjoyed a long and close association with Mr Mandela. He visited UCT at pivotal times during the country's history, often with his wife, our Chancellor, Mrs Graça Machel. He always brought with him messages of peace and reconciliation, and always stressed the need for transformation.
During his first visit to campus on November 30 1990, shortly after he was released from prison, Madiba received an honorary doctorate in law. On the day, Madiba said he was deeply honoured to receive his Doctor of Laws degree from UCT and commended the university community for its activism through the decades.
He also expressed his gratitude to those UCT students who had supported him and his fellow prisoners by raising funds to provide books for study, or who had collected textbooks to donate to prisoners on Robben Island.
On this occasion he also urged UCT and other tertiary institution