Allan Gray is one of South Africa's most successful self-made business executives. When he began trading as a one-man company in Cape Town in 1973, his investment decisions were based on the difference between his assessment of a company's intrinsic value and its share price. Today, his approach is standard practice among the investment community.
The establishment of a centre and a chair in Values-Based Leadership at UCT's Graduate School of Business is a manifestation of Gray's belief that the future and sustainability of the South African economy depend upon sound, ethical and values-based management. UCT recognises Gray as a philanthropist who has consistently supported higher education in South Africa. His pioneering approach to investment and his commitment to South Africa's future make his contribution exceptional.
Professor Daniel Kunene is a renowned literary figure who has, through his translations, contributed to exposing African culture to the rest of the world. His pioneering work on heroic praise poetry explores how heroism is defined and expressed in praise poems, and charts the manner in which praise names are conferred.
Recognised as one of the foremost figures in the translation of South African texts from African languages into English, Kunene completed an acclaimed translation of Thomas Mofolo's Sesotho novel Chaka in 1981. He was also responsible for the widely-praised translation of CLS Nyembezi's 1950 isiZulu novel Mntanami! Mntanami! (My Child! My Child!) in 2010, for which he won the Karel Čapek Medal.
Kunene has used his own prose and poetry in opposition to apartheid in South Africa, demonstrating with great subtlety the multi-faceted relationships between individuals and communities in African society, especially those societies affected by colonialism and apartheid. UCT recognises Kunene's contribution towards preserving the African tradition and promoting it to a wider audience.
Professor Derek Yellon is a prominent cardiovascular scientist. His work on myocardial protection has provided fundamental insights into the way the heart responds to the acute deprivation of blood supply in myocardial infarction. If large clinical studies presently underway succeed, interventions based on Yellon's discoveries will become routine in coronary artery bypass surgery. Such impact on routine patient care is achieved very rarely by a cardiovascular scientist within their professional lifetime and underscores the magnitude of his achievement.
UCT recognises the significant contribution made by Yellon to molecular and cardiovascular medicine, through the establishment of the Hatter Cardiovascular Institute. This institute has made it possible for a wide range of research and educational activities to be carried out at UCT. Yellon has been instrumental in establishing the annual "Cardiology at the Limits" meeting, a joint venture between the Hatter Cardiovascular Institutes of University College London and UCT. These internationally-recognised meetings have been endorsed by the international medical journal, The Lancet, and have played a major role in reaching out to sub-Saharan Africa.
UCT has bestowed a Doctor of Science in Engineering, honoris causa, on alumnus and 'giant of engineering science' Klaus-Jürgen Bathe. This is in recognition of his contributions to the advancement of computational engineering mechanics.
Bathe is not only a pioneer, but also unique in the way that his work has bridged the worlds of academia and industry. Besides being the celebrated Professor of Computational Mechanics at MIT, he is also the developer of the most advanced and very widely used finite element programme in the world today.
Bathe's company, ADINA, is a leader in analysis of solids and structures and in computational fluid dynamics, which enables the analysis of aeroplanes in bad weather, suspension bridges in high winds and the blood flow through arteries, for example.
His academic works are highly cited and his textbooks are considered to be the gold standard.