Students Staff

6 December 2013

Tributes to Nelson Mandela

Filed under: Latest news — Tags: , , , , — Communications Office @ 1:40 pm
Nelson Mandela and Graça Machel at our Colchester Campus

Nelson Mandela and Graça Machel at our Colchester Campus

Many staff and alumni will vividly remember the day that former South African President Nelson Mandela, who died yesterday, visited our Colchester Campus.

Mr Mandela visited the University in July 1997 to accompany Graça Machel, who subsequently became his wife, and who was awarded an Honorary Degree in recognition of her work with the UN on children’s rights.

The Chair of the University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre Professor Sir Nigel Rodley met Mr Mandela during his visit and has paid tribute to him on our news pages. Sir Nigel described Mr Mandela as “the moral giant who could bring true reconciliation to a country that had been so cruelly and arbitrarily divided.”

Expert on South Africa in the twentieth century, Dr Jeremy Krikler from our Department of History has also commented on Mr Mandela’s legacy in our online tribute.

You can also share your memories by commenting below.

One response to “Tributes to Nelson Mandela”

  1. Melanie Wright says:

    I remember well the visit of Graca Machel and Nelson Mandela. Their movements were carefully choreographed, and word got out that Mr Mandela would be crossing the square outside my office at a particular time. So we collected our toddler daughter Hannelore from the University nursery and stood waiting for a glimpse along with some other parents and kids. At first it looked as if he would just wave at the group gathered and walk past. But then he noticed the babies, and couldn’t resist. He made a beeline for us, and picked up Hanne and gave her a cuddle. What a lovely man, when he was tired and jetlagged and rushed and surrounded by fawning administrators to take the time to stop and love the children. He was not just a great man, he was a kind man. I feel deeply honoured to have crossed his path and shaken his hand. May he rest in peace.

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