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Honorary degrees December 2017


Wits conferred several honorary degrees in December. You can read the citations online.

Franklin Thomas (LLD)

Franklin A Thomas, President of the Ford Foundation from 1979 to 1996, is widely recognised as having uniquely contributed to transformation in America, South Africa and throughout the world. Under his leadership, the Ford Foundation contributed millions of dollars in philanthropic support to social justice, cultural, educational and economic development efforts. It supported the establishment and operation of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies at Wits University and the establishment of the Legal Resources Centre, as well as scholarship and internship programmes aimed at increasing the number of black South African university graduates.

Marjorie Manganye (DLitt)

Marjorie Manganye has spent her life in service to others, including children, TB patients and the elderly. She works at the ltlhokomoleng centre in Alexandra, caring for the poor, aged and disabled.

John Gear (DSc Med)

John Gear (MBBCh 1967) was the first chair of the Department of Community Health at Wits, and Academic Director of the Wits Rural Facility from 1989 to 1997. He introduced the concept of primary health care at Wits in 1979 and has made a huge contribution to rural health care and training future health leaders. He is the son of alumnus James Gear, who also received an honorary Doctor of Medicine degree from Wits in 1974.

John Pettifor (DSc Med)

John Pettifor (MBBCh 1968, PhD 1980) was Director of the Metabolic Unit in the Department of Paediatrics at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital and a leading international scholar in the areas of infant and childhood nutrition, bone development and rickets. Since his retirement he has been the Director of the Carnegie Clinical Fellows programme within the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Peter Cleaton-Jones (DSc Med)

Peter Cleaton-Jones (BDS 1963, MBBCh 1967, PhD 1975, DSc 1991) was director of the Wits Dental Research Institute, as well as an anaesthesiologist and emergency medicine medical officer, and continues to serve the University as Chair of the Human Research Ethics Committee.

  • Mosa Mabuza (BSc 1995, BSc Hons 1996), Wits alumnus and Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Geosciences, was the speaker at the graduation ceremony on 6 December.