Da Vinci Academic Opening: 2016

The Da Vinci Institute held an Academic Opening on Tuesday 15 February 2016 at the Da Vinci House. An Academic Opening serves to officially open the academic year of an institution. 

The ceremony played witness to students, guests and faculty as the academic procession led a march around the building. The procession temporarily stopped by the flag poles as the hoisting of the flags formed part of the ceremony. Four Da Vinci representatives served as flag bearers and one by one, each flag was hoisted. 

The first flag was the flag of innovation and represents TT100 (Technology Top 100 Awards). The second flag represents remarkability and takes shape in the form of the Purple Cow, as per Seth Godin’s philosophy. 

The third flag represents academic rigour and excellence as the Da Vinci flag was hoisted. The final and fourth flag represents our contribution to a sustainable society as the South African flag was hoisted.

After the flag hoisting ceremony, the academic procession continued to march to their seats situated on the steps outside the entrance to Da Vinci. As the mace was placed down by Registrar, Mrs Carin Stoltz-Urban, Council members, students and guests took their seat.

Dr Ronel Blom, Dean of Academic Development and Research, welcomed those who had attended and brought specific focus to our Da Vinci guest, Natalie du Toit who is Da Vinci’s brand ambassador. Dr Blom spoke of serendipity and its meaning of “fortunate happenstance”. She encouraged the students to explore their own serendipity and to analyse why they are studying and how fortunate this journey is for them.

Mr Sechaba Motsieloa, Chairman of Council then addressed those in attendance with words of wisdom and encouragement to find their voice along their journey. Through this articulation and pronunciation of their views through their learning, they would contribute greatly to their organisation, their country and societies at large.

Mrs Juliette Fourie, Student Representative on Council was also a facilitator that day and resonated with the students as they proceeded on their learning journey. Mrs Fourie encouraged students to take this opportunity as reflect a sense of remarkability into the world. 

Dr Shirley Lloyd then closed the formal ceremony as Alumni representative on Council. Dr Lloyd spoke of the ambassadorship that alumni undertake upon graduating from Da Vinci. She encouraged students to be open in learning, to reflect, to read and to be curious and thereby carry the torch of Da Vinci when they leave. 

Gauteng Opera was the entertainment for the day and sang such beautiful songs from the balcony, overlooking the ceremony. The informal ceremony then took place as Drumtribe facilitated an interactive drumming session. The symbolism of such is outlined to the co-creation and interconnectedness of the Da Vinci community as they contribute toward the rhythm of the Da Vinci drum.