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The Sol Plaatje University (SPU) Residences Unit recently hosted the very first SPU Residences Academic Awards ceremony. The event was held on Saturday 28 May at Kimberley’s Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre to honour residence students for their academic achievements.

Awards were handed out across four broad categories, with prizes for Best-Performing Residence, Best Academic Performing Student Per Residence, Overall Academic Achiever, Returning Students and First-years.

“In line with SPU’s strategic vision of being a university that is critically engaged in learning, research, and development – while enhancing democratic practice and social justice in society – the SPU Residences Academic Awards Ceremony serves as a pivotal focus point where students receive well-deserved recognition for their academic achievement, with the purpose of inspiring others to perform better,” said Mr Mbokodo Mbatha, Manager: Residences and Student Support.

Dean of Student Affairs Ms Nicole Morris encouraged the audience to stay the course. “Sometimes the journey will be smooth, at other times jarring or take one in a completely different direction to what you had originally planned,” she said. “And that’s OK! When I sometimes go off course I draw strength and meaning from a favourite quote from [Apple co-founder] Steve Jobs: ‘You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.’”

Mr David Kok, President of the South African Taekwondo Federation, also delivered a message of support, in which he reflected on the history of the country and how that history contributed to some of the challenges currently affecting progress. “I invite students to become agents of change and contribute to shaping the country for the better,” he said. “I want you to take positions of leadership as a means of preparing yourself for the opportunities available to you, and to be able to create new ones for other people.”

Mr Mbatha said the awards are aimed at encouraging high academic achievers, who in turn inspire others to perform well; creating a culture of high performance and excellence; and ultimately at helping SPU to create well-rounded graduates who are productive and responsible citizens of the country and global village.

Click here to see the full list of awards presented at the event.