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May 2023 Newsletter


Dear Alumni and Friends,

As we move further into spring, we are excited to share with you the latest news and updates from the University of Cape Town. Despite the challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic, our community has continued to thrive and innovate.

We are proud to announce that UCT has recently been recognized as one of the top universities in the world, thanks to our outstanding faculty, innovative academic programs, and commitment to student success. Our graduates continue to make a positive impact in their communities and around the world, and we are thrilled to see their achievements celebrated on a national stage.

In addition, we are excited to share news about new academic initiatives and research projects being undertaken by our faculty and students. From groundbreaking discoveries in healthcare and technology to innovative new programs designed to prepare students for the careers of tomorrow, our community is driving forward progress and making a real difference in the world.

As always, we are committed to fostering a sense of connection and engagement among our alumni and friends. We invite you to explore our website Fund for more information about upcoming events and opportunities to get involved with UCT.

Thank you for your ongoing support, and we look forward to continuing to share news and updates with you in the coming months.

UCT Fund Inc.

Interim Vice-Chancellor

24032027 Interim VC Emeritus Professor Daya Reddy. Photo:Lerato Maduna

UCT Welcomes Interim Vice-Chancellor

Emeritus Professor Daya Reddy took the helm as interim Vice-Chancellor in March and will hold this position until a new Vice-Chancellor is appointed.

A former holder of the South African Research Chair in Computational Mechanics at the University, Prof Reddy has UCT blue blood in his veins! He has served as president of the Academy of Science of South Africa, was until 2021 president of the International Science Council (ISC) and is also Chair of the International Advisory Board of the Berlin-based Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. 

Read more about Prof Daya’s exceptional academic and leadership record at:

Sarah Archer

UCT Development and Alumni Department ED – Sarah Archer portraits 2022. Taken by Je’nine May.

Meet our New Executive Director of UCT Development and Alumni Department

Meet Sarah Archer

UCT alumna, Sarah Archer took the reins of the top job at DAD last year, bringing a 15-year track record in development and fundraising to the role, including a five-year stint (2011–2016) at UCT as senior manager of international fundraising. 

Sarah is implementing an ambitious strategy for DAD: a fundraising framework to unleash potential. This supports UCT’s Vision 2030, new trends in giving and enlarging Africa on the donor map.  Her vision 2030 for DAD capitalizes on UCT’s strong selling points: its world-class academics, a diverse student cohort that represents the country’s brightest and best, multiple African and international networks, connections, and recognition that UCT is a gateway to Africa and the world. 

The other part of Sarah’s portfolio concerns a valuable and changing stakeholder group: UCT’s alumni, spread across the globe, are UCT’s best ambassadors. The DAD team is hard at work to update and build the alumni database and networks and to develop opportunities to bring them back to campus with their friends.  

Read more about Sarah Archer’s vision for UCT, her thoughts on new trends in philanthropy and her hopes to expand UCT’s international network of alumni chapters, drawing alumni closer to their alma mater while building a culture of giving and philanthropy on our website:

our ambassadors all over the world and we want to ensure [they] are up to date on all the good news stories for UCT, which the more challenging ones can easily  drown out.” 

Meet Andrew Wigley

Five questions with Andrew Wigley

DAD appoints International Development & Partnerships Director

  1. Tell us about your position and work with the UCT Fund.

As the International Development & Partnerships Director, my role is to forge partnerships with prospective partners and funders to UCT.  My focus is on building relationships with the US’ extraordinary and extensive foundation sector as well as engaging Ultra High Net Worth individuals and their family offices. 

  1. Where are you from and what did you study at college and university? 

I grew up in the UK and studied at universities in Canterbury and Munich.  After working in the House of Commons in London and then the European Parliament in Brussels I became a public affairs consultant which led to me working in London and San Francisco. Mid-career I undertook a Master’s degree at Stellenbosch University. I returned to consultancy and have since worked with a number of universities on fundraising and development strategy in Africa and Europe.

  1. What drew you to your work in fundraising and development?

I am passionate about equitable access to higher education given its importance in both individual opportunity and achievement, and in terms of the national interest.  I am a strong believer in the power of philanthropy and admire the many who make extraordinary contributions to benefit the causes that inspire them. 

  1. What would you like to hear most from UCT alumni?

I would love to hear from our alumni about any ideas, suggestions, leads that they may have. We are a small team, and our biggest challenge is trying to map the US philanthropic landscape. It is both very large and fragmented and there will be many individuals, families, and their foundations who we don’t know and who would be a natural fit for UCT and its many amazing areas of work and research. So please come forth with any suggestions!

  1. What do you tend to find energizing or relaxing for you, outside of work? 

For the past six years I have lived in Lisbon, Portugal which is a great jumping off point to get to North America as well as South Africa. In addition, it’s a gem of a place to live.  I love to walk, and from the city centre it’s very easy to reach some beautiful countryside and amazing beaches.  The Portuguese also have a great food and wine tradition so that’s another pleasure. I also enjoying reading. Right now, I am immersed in a book by the Brazilian Ukrainian novelist Clarice Lispector.

UCT Fire Report

Read how your donation to the UCT Fire appeal has contributed to the reimagining and rebuilding process of UCT’s Upper Campus

Two years ago, US alumni and friends responded with a generous outpouring of donations to the massive runaway fire that destroyed the Jagger Reading Room and caused damage on Upper Campus. Donations were received from individual donors, through family foundations, corporate and foundation funding and through donor matching programs

To mark the second anniversary of the fire at UCT, the Development and Alumni Department have produced a UCT Fire Impact Report describing key university projects that have benefitted from donor support. You can find the report online at and see how your donation has helped rescue irreplaceable documents and artefacts and contributed to the reimagining and rebuilding efforts.

UCT Libraries have also joined forces with DSTV to turn the ashes and remnants from the literature lost in the fire into a book worthy to be replaced in the refurbished fire. The Stories From the Ashes – Africa’s story through the last millennium book, includes reprinted extracts – tackling different subjects, such as Politics and Gender Studies. Also, each chapter has a foreword written by a prominent UCT alumni. Then we created a unique book stand made from the remnants and pens filled with ink made from the ashes. Explore the digital edition at:

Just like a phoenix rises, our African stories will also rise with the help of our generous alumni and friends like you.

Baxter Theatre

New York City UCT alumni gather to listen to the latest happenings at the Baxter Theatre

Chairman of the UCT Fund in the USA, Trevor Norwitz, hosted Lara Foot the CEO and Artistic Director of the Baxter Theatre Centre and a group of Manhattan-based UCT alumni in his New York home earlier this year.

Foot was in NYC to receive an award from the International Society for the Performing Arts in recognition of her stellar contribution to the Arts in South Africa. Since heading up the Baxter Theatre Centre she has transformed the theatre’s development program – the Zabalaza Theatre Festival – to become recognized and respected as one of the most vital and important platforms of its kind in South Africa. As a former Rolex protégé to Sir Peter Hall, she hosted a unique cultural gathering at the Baxter with Mentors William Kentridge, Wole Soyinka and Peter Sellars alongside seven protégés. 

After listening to her work at The Baxter and the contribution that it makes to not only the Western Cape, but South Africa as a whole a number of alumni present at the event pledged to assist in whatever way they can to continue this work.

Since then, alum Max Bichunsky donated to the Baxter Theater Name-A-Seat campaign to have a plaque with his name support the theatre. Bichunsky said that he was moved to make this donation as during his student days at UCT, he witnessed the way in which particularly the performing arts, opened his eyes to the social and political events happening in broader South Africa. Other alumni at the event have pledged donations towards purchasing a good second-hand vehicle for the Zabalaza program as Lara Foot spoke about the logistical problems experienced by this program. We are also nearing that target of raising fundraising, but if you would like to make a donation to the Baxter Theatre, please visit our website and make your donation online at:

50th Reunion of med students

MBChB Class of 1973 celebrates 50th Reunion in Cape Town

By: Dr Trevor Kaye USA alum

The class of 1973 celebrated their 50th medical school reunion at the end of February after four years of intensive organizing and virtual gatherings around the world. It was a huge success, casual, family oriented and at a great time of the year. Forty-nine class members plus their significant others attended the four-day event, which included a welcoming cocktail party hosted by the Dean, a luncheon and tasting at Cluver Vineyard, a luncheon at Moyo restaurant in Kirstenbosch, and a final farewell dinner at On the Rocks at Bloubergstrand.

The reunion started with a welcoming cocktail party, where classmates caught up and reminisced about their time at medical school. The dean gave a speech welcoming everyone back and updating us on the significant changes that have occurred since we graduated.

The next day, the class visited the Cluver Vineyard, a picturesque winery in the Elgin Valley. The group indulged in delicious food and wines, while taking in the stunning scenery and each other’s company.

On the third day, the class had lunch at moyo restaurant in Kirstenbosch. The restaurant has stunning views of the gardens and mountain and the food was excellent. Folks had the opportunity to explore the gardens.

The reunion ended with a farewell dinner at On the Rocks at Bloubergstrand offering panoramic sunset views of Cape Town across the bay. The evening was full of warmth, laughter, and nostalgia as attendees bid farewell to one another and promised to meet again at the next reunion!

Everyone who came enjoyed the events and remarked on how much they had enjoyed reconnecting with old friends and colleagues. This reunion proved to be a wonderful rekindling of bonds forged during the years 1968 through 1974 and it is hoped that future reunions will be just as successful.

For details and photos from this reunion feel free to check our website:

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