‘Alumni’ is the word that describes university graduates collectively. Derived from an Arabic word aalim, ‘alumni’ means ‘scholar or an expert in a particular field’. The word is also a Latin noun (alumnus), meaning ‘foster son or pupil’, and derived from the verb alere (‘to nourish’). If you’re a female graduate, you’re an ‘alumna’ (pl. ‘alumnae’) and if you’re a male graduate, you’re an ‘alumnus’ (pl. ‘alumni’). The university you graduated from is your alma mater (‘bountiful mother’). The Alumni Relations Office is responsible for ensuring a lifelong, mutually beneficial relationship between alumni and their alma mater. At Wits, we consider both graduates (those with a Wits degree) and diplomats (those with Wits diplomas) as alumni. Those who obtained short-course certificates are not strictly alumni, although we also recognise them as Wits family and sustain relations where possible.
The Alumni Relations Office establishes, maintains and strengthens a lifelong, mutually beneficial relationship between alumni and their alma mater, so that alumni have the opportunity to participate in advancing the University. We maintain a database of all former students of Wits, as well as graduates of the University.
The Alumni Office implements an Alumni Liaison strategy comprising:
The mission of Alumni Relations is to maintain a lifelong relationship with alumni through opportunities and benefits that promote interaction and engagement with Wits and facilitate alumni’s contribution to the advancement and success of the University.