ACCESS to the top of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s main building is usually via a lift – unless you’re a vice-chancellor with a mission.
NMMU Vice-Chancellor Prof Derrick Swartz is using the 18-story climb to his office as part of his preparation to climb Mount Fuji in Japan to raise funds for needy students.
And now he’s challenging others to do likewise.
Prof Swartz has invited corporates to join him in a time trial challenge up the 18 flights of stairs to raise further awareness and funding for academically-deserving but financially-needy students throughout the country.
Joining Prof Swartz in the stair challenge on Tuesday, 21 July 2015 are participants from Investec, Fedics, Volkswagen Community Trust, Sanlam and Standard Bank.
Participants will meet at the bottom of the stairs to begin the “race” to the top of the building. Prof Swartz will lead the way with challengers following alphabetically, every 5 minutes.
The #climb4nmmu campaign is particularly focused on the needs of students in the Eastern Cape, recognised as South Africa’s poorest province.
The R9.5 billion distributed as part of the government's National Student Financial Assistance Scheme (NSFAS) annually does not meet national needs, and certainly not within NMMU.
The stair challenge is one of several initiatives by Prof Swartz to prepare for the 3,7km climb of Mount Fuji, which is also symbolic of the obstacles many students face in order to get a tertiary qualification. There are 10 base camps leading up to the peak, one for each year of NMMU's first decade.
All funds will go to the University's Bursary Legacy Campaign run by the NMMU Trust. Their Ignite a Candle campaign is already supporting worthy students.
The University is hoping to raise at least R500 000 to support further students for the duration of their degrees or diplomas.
Participants’ starting and finishing times will be recorded as they enter the stairwell and exit the stairwell on the 18th floor.
Read more about the #climb4nmmu campaign
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