Alumni 2016 winners

Chancellor's Distinguished Alumni Awardee
Mrs Monique Esterhuyse (on behalf of Mr Anton Esterhuyse), Madam Justice Molemela, Mr Neil Powell, Professor Seekoe, Mrs Odessa Swarts (mother of Wayde van Niekerk), Tannie Ans Botha, Alumni Association Chairperson: Dr Pieter du Toit, Mrs Rolene Strauss, Mr Steven Swarts (father of Wayde van Niekerk), Alumni Officer: Ms Helen Namponya, Mr Gary Stroebel and Ms Tanya Calitz.

Spanning 34 years, the annual Chancellor's Distinguished Alumni Awards are held to recognise the outstanding achievements of our alumni provincially, nationally and internationally. These alumni have not only placed the University of the Free State on the world stage, but have inspired the next generation of Kovsies and their communities at large.

The Chancellor's Distinguished Alumni Awards were presented on 5 November 2016 during a gala dinner at the Francois Retief Building of the University of the Free State. With Chairperson of the Alumni Association Dr Pieter du Toit and Alumni Officer Ms Helen Namponya at the helm, the awards were presented to nine alumni in five categories:

  1. Cum Laude Award: bestowed upon an alumnus to recognise excellence in any field.
    • Springbok Sevens Coach: Neil Powell
    • Acting Dean of the Health Sciences Faculty at the University of Fort Hare: Professor Eunice Seekoe
    • Central Media Group CEO: Gary Stroebel
  2. Executive Management Award: presented to any person (not necessarily an alumnus) who has delivered exceptional service to the university.
    • KovsieSport athletics coach and coach to Wayde van Niekerk: Anna Botha (Tannie Ans)
    • Musician and composer: Anton Esterhuyse
  3. Ambassador’s Award: bestowed upon an individual whose achievements have brought distinction, benefited his/her community and brought credit to the University of the Free State.
    • Olympic record holder: Wayde van Niekerk
    • Former Miss South Africa and Miss World: Rolene Strauss
  4. Young Alumnus of the Year: aimed at recognising and celebrating the achievements of alumni who have graduated within the past decade.
    • Law researcher in the Constitutional Court: Ms Tanya Calitz
  5. Chancellor’s Distinguished Alumnus of the Year: recognises the distinguished achievements of its recipient on a national or international scale.
    • Judge President in the Free State High Court and Central University of Technology Chancellor: Madam Justice Mahube Molemela

    Congratulations to all of this year’s award recipients.