Universities worldwide now rely heavily on the generosity of their alumni, the corporate world, well-wishers, and many friends who team up to help build campuses and endow scholarships for students. There are many more projects that they carry out to support and enhance the overall operations of universities. This is a culture that we in Zimbabwe somehow lack very pronouncedly. In both principle and practice, Alumni Associations exist to support and sustain the objectives and programmes of parent universities.
As a result, alumni support has become such an important factor that greatly enhances the quality of both learning and education. The University of Zimbabwe (UZ), with a history of almost 60 years, is a vibrant institution built on a foundation of strong academic excellence and philanthropy that has spanned generations.Unfortunately many people have not been adequately informed of the coordinated effort being made to bring together all the Alumni to review where they came from and where they are going. To date, at least 65 000 students have graduated from the UZ and all these form the UZ Alumni.
The idea to launch University of Zimbabwe Alumni (UZAA) was first mooted on the 5th of March, 1986 and was followed by the First Annual General Meeting (Inaugural Convention) to elect the first Executive on 28 February 1987. Mr Honour Mkushi became the first Chairman of the Association. Then, it was called the Graduate Association of the University of Zimbabwe. During the period 1987-89, the Association had a paid-up membership of about 100.
The aims of the Graduate Association were:
- To assist in charting positive and progressive direction for the development of the University of Zimbabwe
- To foster interaction between the University and any other institutions in Zimbabwe and globally
- To provide a platform for members to communicate on and assist in academic and socio-economic issues affecting the nation
- To provide a platform for networking among members and with the University.