Manager of Student Funding, Mr Richard Morrison, retires at the end of the year after a journey with UKZN which started in the 1970s as a Humanities student on the Howard College campus.

Morrison says at the time, the University was dominated by the National Union of South African Students (NUSAS) and ‘plagued by security police activities’.

His plan to become a lawyer was sidetracked by his love for Speech and Drama with its more active student life and he soon moved to the Pietermaritzburg campus to complete his studies at Honours level. He eventually concentrated on Public Relations after spending some time in the theatre world.

Morrison has an Honours degree in Speech and Drama, an Honours degree in Public Relations from UNISA and an Advanced Postgraduate Diploma in Systems Management from UKZN.

His foray into student funding began after he started up the University of Natal Schools Liaison programme on the Howard College campus in 1981.

‘In the early ‘80s, the Bursary and Scholarships Office had a secretary and only one full-time administrator, Ms Pam Kerry, who recently died and left money for bursaries for needy students at UKZN.  The Department has grown and now has more than 33 staff across all of the campuses,’ said Morrison.

As the Manager of Student Funding at UKZN, Morrison was involved with managing the policies, procedures and strategic direction for the three main streams of funding which currently total in excess of R750 million a year through more than 20 000 awards.

Morrison says being associated with the University for more than four decades and working on all of UKZN’s five campuses ‘has formed and moulded me as a citizen of South Africa’.

His journey at the University was influenced by many colleagues who guided and influenced his career path.

Morrison said his wife had been ‘a tremendous support’ for him during his years in Financial Aid and had also encouraged him in dealing with all the challenges he faced.

The Morrisons two children graduated from the University. ‘My daughter is in Marketing Research for Unilever and my son is in the computer industry, specialising in computer games.’

Morrison is contemplating how he will keep busy once he retires. ‘At 60 (the retirement age of the Institution) I must now say good-bye to an activity that has kept me young and constantly on my toes.  However, I would like to stay economically active for a few more years and continue making a difference to people’s lives in one form or another. So I am on the lookout for opportunities!’

author email :