Start main page content

Higher education awards recognise excellence in Wits Alumni Relations and Wits Communications

- Wits University

The Advancement Division at Wits won seven awards at the Marketing, Advancement and Communication in Education (MACE) Excellence Awards held online on 29 July.

The Advancement Division comprises the Office of Alumni Relations; Marketing and Communications; Development and Fundraising; and Functions and Events.

The MACE Excellence Awards showcase campaigns and publications that were produced by professional staff in advancement roles at MACE member universities countrywide.

There were 163 entries evaluated in the 2021 MACE Excellence Awards and 109 awards were made to 11 institutions across the country. Wits won four golds, two silvers, and one bronze award.

Reading Wits Alumni right 

Wits Alumni Relations’ magazine WITS Review (October 2020 edition, Issue 4) won gold In the Printed External Magazines category in the Media division, and in the Design division of the Skills category.

Judges said, “It was great to read the research regarding your publication and the findings of how many people read the publication.

“I believe this product will be considered as an exceptional product by various industries, corporates, educational institutions, design communities and the likes worldwide,” wrote one judge.

Wits Advancement Division won 7 awards at the Marketing Advancement and Communication MACE Excellence Awards on 29 July 2021

The Alumni Office’s #Witsie4Life Stories, entered in the Alumni Campaigns category of the Campaigns division, also won gold. Judges said, “Your campaign is a catchy way to capture the attention of your audiences and engage them. Great visuals which demonstrate an understanding of the key messaging as well as the institutional and audience needs.”

Peter Maher, Director of Alumni Relations at Wits, says: “I am delighted at the recognition the Wits alumni programme received at this year’s MACE awards. For over a decade, the Wits alumni programme has been acknowledged for its excellence, with the alumni magazine in particular being rated among the best in the world. These awards are a tribute to extremely talented staff who are passionate about their work and their service to Wits and Wits alumni.”

In 2017, the world-class WITS Review won an international Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) silver award.

Communicating research creatively

Wits Communications submitted entries in the Internal Publications and Magazines, Website, and Crisis Management categories.

The VIRAL issue of Wits’ research magazine, Curios.ty, won silver in the Internal Publications and Magazines category of the Media division. The print and digizine was judged “a very appealing piece of work [that] reflects a good balance of science, opinion and lived experiences to have broad appeal. It is very well written and presents complex information in an accessible way.”

Wits Advancement Division won 7 awards at the Marketing Advancement and Communication MACE Excellence Awards on 29 July 2021

Judges said the Wits Covid-19 portal, which won silver in the Websites category of the Media division, “is very current, and organised in a logical manner for a user-friendly experience [and] shows a basic but highly effective portal design that lends itself well to the sheer volume of content that is likely to continue to grow.”

The first Covid-19 vaccine trial in South Africa – which was the Wits VIDA-led Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine trial – won bronze in the Crisis Management category of the Campaigns division. Judges acknowledged the “Excellent explanation of the strategy of this project [which] included a wide range of relevant research and well-designed materials to make the event/campaign a success.”

Wits Advancement Division won 7 awards at the Marketing Advancement and Communication MACE Excellence Awards on 29 July 2021

Shirona Patel, Head of Wits Communications, says: “These MACE Excellence Awards are testament to the considered and creative excellence of a team committed to advancing the Wits brand through communication. This recognition is inspiring as Wits approaches its centenary in 2022 when advancing the University is critical to its continuity. Congratulations to other SA universities who won MACE Excellence Awards – their participation enables us to benchmark our work in communications.”

About MACE

MACE is Marketing, Advancement and Communication in Education, a 32-year-old, national, voluntary not-for-profit professional association. MACE fulfils a leadership role in the higher education, TVET and private education sectors within South Africa by adding value to practitioners in Marketing, Communication and Advancement through high quality development programmes, facilitating networking partnerships and transformation, and promoting best practices amongst these professions at member institutions.

The MACE Excellence Awards takes place annually and recognises and celebrates excellence and the achievements of specialists and practitioners in marketing, communication and advancement in the higher education sector.

Click here to view the full list of the 2021 MACE Excellence Awards recipients in all the categories.

Click here to view MACE Excellence Awards statistics per institution from 2018 to 2021.