Welcome to Wits and welcome to the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management.
Those of you starting your journey at Wits should know you have been awarded a coveted place at one of the top universities in Africa.
For those of you from out of town, I should welcome you to Jozi as well. Many people who don’t live here think of Joburg as a concrete jungle of high energy and danger. But let me tell you, Joburg is wonderful. This city of migrants, at its best, opens its arms to newcomers. You will find a generous energy here that very few other cities have. And the city, like our campus, is beautiful. Besides the huge forest, there are parks, and hiking and cycling trails, theatres and live music and great food. We urge you to make the most of both what Wits, and Joburg has to offer. There are also many clubs and organisations on campus, so you can find something to join and keep your life balanced over the course of your studies.
This is an exciting time to be starting your university journey. Wits is 100 years old this year (2022), so you get to enjoy the celebrations and the retelling of our proud history throughout the year. And you will be added to the illustrious alumni who have made their mark in the world.
As the country opens up after two years of pandemic lockdown, this is an ideal time to be thinking about the role you will play in a future South Africa, one that is both dynamic and equal.
Our law students will be reflecting on the process to appoint a new Chief Justice and what the interviews have told us about both the judiciary but the country at large. Those of you doing BComs, Accounting or Economics will be debating the Budget Speech. Our economics students consistently excel in the Nedbank & Old Mutual Budget Speech competition. We are proud of our winners this year.
Your time at Wits will be interesting and challenging and sometimes confusing and sometimes difficult. We encourage you to explore and pick up new courses and new areas of interest. Our job is to give you the best guidance, teaching and mentorship possible, and it is also our responsibility to give you as much support as possible. Wits has excellent support structure to help you. We have counseling, we have study support, we have tutors and psychologists and medical people. We have people dedicated to help you navigate the personal and academic challenges that come with studying at university. These resources are all at your disposal to make your journey through Wits as smooth and enjoyable as possible. We want you to be healthy and have balance; to be enriched by your studies; to make new friends and meet interesting new people; to try new activities and stretch your minds.
You should know that we have great expectations of you. Your leadership role does not just begin when you graduate from Wits. We expect you to be leaders now. And we want you to use that leadership to effect positive change in our society, our city, our campus, in your classrooms and in your residences.
I wish you well. I hope your journey here with us will feel enriching and valuable. Congratulations on choosing to study at Africa’s top university and may you be inspired to make your mark in this world and continue the proud tradition of our heroic alumni.
Let me congratulate you again on getting to Wits, and let me implore on you to use every opportunity you get to build a better future for all of us.
Welcome to Wits and to CLM.