Prof Dan Kgwadi, the vice-chancellor of the NWU, attended the event for staff who are alumni. He encouraged the guests to take part in structures such as the Convocation and Alumni Association at this exciting time in the implementation of the NWU’s strategy.
With him are Prof Marilyn Setlalentoa, the deputy vice-chancellor for campus operations in Mahikeng and Susan van Rooyen, alumni relations practitioner.
The ABC of the Convocation
The Convocation consists of former students (alumni) who have obtained their qualifications from the NWU, as well as all current members of the university’s permanent staff. The purpose of the Convocation is to safeguard the institution’s image, traditions and interests and to serve as a bridge between members of the Convocation and the university.
The Convocation is represented on the NWU Council and also works closely with other structures such as the Alumni Association, which promotes interaction between the university and its alumni.
Staying home and visiting the neighbours
As the saying goes, charity – or in this instance care for our alumni – begins at home, but it can also be extended to include the next-door neighbours, can’t it?
Alumni attending the event in Gaborone, Botswana, are Misani Africa Mpale-Mudanga, Kereletse Taolo, Tumelo Thedi and Lorato Barakanye.
This was the thinking of the Stakeholder Relations team on the campus in Mahikeng. They started their March programme with an event in Mahikeng for alumni who are also NWU staff members, and then paid the neighbours, our alumni in Botswana, a visit.
Staff alumni are an asset
NWU staff members who wear two hats, one as staff and the other as alumni, have a special role to play as ambassadors of the university. Recognising this, Stakeholder Relations reached out to these staff members by hosting an event for them in the Great Hall at the campus in Mahikeng on 16 March 2018.
“We urge staff members who are NWU alumni to participate in activities for alumni, and to join the Convocation so that they can be fully involved in the Convocation programmes too,” says Warren Makgowe, director for stakeholder relations.
“We have adopted a strategy to engage alumni through events, surveys and different communications channels such as BUAtv and the NWU & U, and we look forward to receiving contributions from all our alumni for those platforms,” he adds.
Botswana alumni are busy as bees
Then, on 23 March 2018, it was the neighbours’ turn, with no fewer than 73 alumni gathering at the Gaborone Avani Hotel for a cocktail dinner.
Stakeholder relations practitioner Susan van Rooyen welcomed the group and praised the chapter management for being so active and loyal to their alma mater. She encouraged the alumni to keep up the good work of recruiting new chapter members, being loyal ambassadors to the NWU and doing invaluable word-of-mouth marketing among their social and professional networks.
Warren then explained why it is important for alumni to become Convocation members, one of the benefits being that membership enables them to vote for Convocation representatives on the NWU Council. He encouraged them to become more involved with their alma mater so that the university can continue to benefit from their skills and experience.
Gathering outside on the grass terrace until late, the alumni were sad to learn that Susan is retiring but wished her a fulfilling new journey.
The NWU & U
Please send us your comments, suggestions and any other contributions you would like to make, for instance photographs or news snippets.
We value your opinions and input – after all, the NWU & U belongs to us all.
The Botswana chapter’s enthusiasm was clear from the large number of members who attended the event, and also from the active participation of the 90-member-strong WhatsApp group that Yvonne Kgawarae, the chapter secretary, started.