GCU honours Brian Molefe and Dr Christopher To

02 July 2015

Brian Molefe and Dr Christopher To

Brian Molefe and Dr Christopher To

Brian Molefe, Acting Chief Executive of South Africa’s Eskom, and Dr Christopher To, a Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) alumnus, were each awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Engineering today (July 2).

Mr Molefe congratulated fellow graduates and dedicated his award to the people of South Africa.

He said: “I wish to reiterate President Mandela’s words and express our gratitude to the people of Glasgow in general and the University in particular.

“Thank you for the role that you have played in the liberation of my mother land. But more importantly, thank you for your continued friendship and partnership with us in South Africa as we engage in the sacred task of rebuilding a nation after the trauma of apartheid.”

Previously at the helm of South Africa’s Transnet, Mr Molefe worked with GCU to deliver Transnet Freight Rail employees a formal qualification in railway operations management, the first programme of its kind in South Africa.


Introducing Mr Molefe, Director of the School of Work-Based Education, Fiona Stewart-Knight said:  “A wise and trusted industrial leader, his mark and commitment to public service, no matter the challenge, is delivery to a higher ideal not just in terms of organisational achievement but in terms of what South Africa can be or could become.”

Whilst at Transnet, Mr Molefe led the first graduation ceremony for Transnet employees who completed degrees, diplomas and certificates in railway operations management, as the company intensified training to boost its service.

Principal and Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies CBE described the partnership as an “outstanding example of our University’s enduring commitment to work for the Common Good”.

Dr Christopher To, a GCU alumnus, received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Engineering in recognition of his global work on dispute-resolution.

He has handled a variety of complex international cases as mediator and arbitrator and is currently the Executive Director of the Construction Industry Council.

In 2007 he was awarded Young Global Leader 2007 status by the World Economic Forum to recognise the most distinguished 250 young leaders below the age of 40, from around the world. He played a key role in the World's first zero carbon building (ZCB), which is a pioneering project to showcase state-of-the-art zero carbon building technologies and raise community awareness of sustainable living in Hong Kong. 

Dr To congratulated GCU’s graduates, adding: “You have worked extremely hard to achieve what you have achieved today. The next stage in your life may lead to greater success.

“Finally, do not forget about giving back to your community, as the community did in some way shape you as the person you are today. With your contributions we will build a sustainable future, which generations to come will acknowledge and treasure.”