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Pittsburgh honours distinguished alumni

- By Wits University

Professor Thomas Mogale, Head of the Wits School of Governance, and Wits alumnus, Dr Pandelani Thomas Mathoma, were both recently awarded with the prestigious Distinguished Alumnus award from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US.

Mogale obtained his PhD from Pittsburgh in 1997 while working in the Wits Graduate School of Public and Development Management (P&DM).

Throughout its 50-year history, GSPIA has created a legacy that inspires graduates to make public institutions better, create a higher quality of government and promote social responsibility throughout the world.

The Distinguished Alumnus award is the GSPIA’s most prestigious awards and recognises individuals whose outstanding professional accomplishments bring honour to the school and make them inspired role models for students. Only a select few of the 7 000 GSPIA graduates worldwide have received the designation.

Pittsburgh and Wits have close ties and collaborations through various exchange programmes.

Awarding this honour to Mogale during a special gala dinner held on Thursday, 16 July 2015, was GSPIA Dean John Keeler and Dr Louis A. Picard, Professor of Public and International Affairs and African Studies (GSPIA) and sometime Visiting Research Professor at P&DM.

On Friday, 31 July 2015, Picard and Mogale will also launch their new book, titled: The Limits of Democratic Governance in South Africa: “In the transition from apartheid rule to democratic governance in South Africa, what has been the impact on South African society at its base – on the people in the country's cities, towns, villages, and farms? Louis Picard and Thomas Mogale offer answers to this fundamental question, tracing historical trends and measuring change (or the lack of it) in the dynamic between the promise of local participatory governance and the realities of a hierarchical state.”