On 13 April 2016, Professor John Shannon Saul accepted an Honorary, Doctoral degree in Humanities – Philosophiae Doctor (Honoris Causa). This award was made at the last graduation ceremony held at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), Auckland Park Campus.
Prof Saul presents a sterling example of international and cross-racial critical academic solidarity with the struggles in southern and eastern Africa for socio-economic justice and full political freedom – and the intense moral, ideological and intellectual resources mustered in that noble endeavour.
“I am honored to be recognised in this way by my peers. This degree is immensely important to me as a doctorate degree but also as a degree from Africa which is my home, away from home,” said Prof Saul at the conferral.
“I am pleased to be back at UJ and thank you for making this event possible. Members of my immediate family are here as well and that makes it very special for me. So I feel honoured standing next to you as a Degree holder, many thanks and best wishes to you on this special day.”
The well-attended award ceremony was presided over by the Humanities Dean of Faculty, Prof Alex Broadbent and featured a short address from the Vice-Chancellor and Principal Prof Ihron Rensburg, who welcomed the graduates and guests. He stressed that the graduating students should enable an alternative future.
“Help us nurture the world of promise with morality; of wealth with work; of knowledge with character; of politics with principles; of earth use with reverence; of religion with sacrifice and importantly a world filled with pleasure but equally serve a conscience,” said Prof Rensburg.
An honorary degree is an honour given to elite leaders who exemplify great character and have proven extraordinary achievement and service to their communities, countries or the world as a mark of appreciation.