A MESSAGE FROM DR DIANE ABRAHAMS, DIRECTOR OF THE SCHOOL OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY
Dr Diane Abrahams
Celebrating a 50-year legacy of excellence in Tourism and Hospitality Education
Dean who was Head of Business Development at the school. Further praise goes to Dr. Reinet “Dok” Mornet, Prof. Jane Spowart and the late Prof. Connie Mokadi who were all part of the transition phase of the school. Not to mention Mr Andre Mynhardt, the first Director of the STH in 2005, and of course, Prof Daneel van Lill who was the Director of STH until the end of 2010. This tribute would not be complete without celebrating the talented staff who have, over the years, been at the heart and soul of this School. And whose hard work resulted in the STH’s astonishing accolades and its multitude of achievements. It was heartening to see many of them in attendance at our anniversary celebration. Given that change is a constant, we know that whatever we do today we need to do better tomorrow because growth is a choice. At the STH we value diversity and inclusion as we believe that therein
In February 1969, just over 20 students were enrolled for the National Diploma in Hotel Management at the Witwatersrand College for Advanced Technical Education in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. Fast-forward 50 years and here we are, celebrating this milestone as the School of Tourism and Hospitality (STH). The STH has nearly 800 students and 65 staff and is one of six schools in the College of Business and Economics at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). The School is ranked first place for Tourism and Hospitality in Africa by the QS World University Rankings (2018 and 2019) and is ranked 18th globally by the prestigious Shanghai rankings. It is a privilege to be at the helm of the institution. As we pay tribute to our humble beginnings, I want to recognise and pay tribute to those who came before me, starting with the late Leon Malan, the first Director of the former Wits Hotel School and the late Dr. Japie van Lill, the father of our Executive
lies our strength. Standards of excellence are not carved in stone. They are constantly being redefined and it’s important to recognise that, what was graded as excellent last year may not be so this year. And that is why we must keep mastering new skills. As we recollect the past and re-imagine the future of tourism and hospitality education, I am reminded of the great bridges we have built that have connected the old with the new. This bridge- building is behind some of the success of the STH as we continue to connect with industry and alumni. Relationships are a choice. Charles Spurgeon said: “Carve your name on hearts and not on marble.” So, let us continue these wonderful relationships. To all our alumni: we do hope you will come back regularly to the STH and continue to share with us your time to teach, coach, and mentor the students, and perhaps also learn a thing or two from the millennials. I know I continue to do so!
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