Visual Arts student Ms Shannon Bennetts has been awarded three scholarships - the College DVC Scholarship, the Brenda Gourley Scholarship and the Townley Williams Scholarship - for the best student entering the final year of study in a first degree.
Bennetts was surprised to receive the scholarships and grateful to the University and the sponsors. ‘It was totally unexpected and I was bursting to tell my family as soon as I heard the news. It means a great deal to all of us, as now my dream of studying overseas is suddenly within reach. Thank you so much to UKZN and the donors! You've helped to change lives with your generosity, and I’m glad to have been chosen,’ said Bennetts.
As well as aiding in further study, Bennetts will use the funds for equipment and materials. ‘Ours is a notoriously expensive degree in that area. When you’re working in the field of Visual Arts, your income is rarely consistent, should you be able to find work at all.’
Bennetts attended Epworth High School in Pietermaritzburg where she matriculated in 2013 with seven distinctions, receiving subject prizes for English, English Literature, AP English, Visual Art and the Dramatic Arts.
She also received the Spirit of Epworth Trophy - awarded to a learner who by virtue of her personal characteristics made a significant contribution to the life of the school.
Based on her academic results, in her first year of study at UKZN, Bennetts received a voucher worth
R20 000 towards her degree in the Arts and certificates of merit for six out of her eight modules. In her second year, she was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship and received certificates of merit for her eight modules.
‘These scholarships are an investment in the future enabling us to further our studies and focus solely on our work without hesitation due to worry about costs.
‘Think of how much further we can go, the boundaries we can push. As our Fine Art lecturer once said, we are the future of this world. This funding will make our ability to shape it that much easier,’ said Bennetts.
What advice does she have for other scholarship recipients? ‘When you’re going up to receive your award, keep your eyes on the stairs. The last thing you need after years of academic toiling is to trip just before they hand you the gold medal!’