They married this month and did not accept any wedding gifts.
Instead, James Rycroft, 36, and his wife, Toni, 37, have urged those who wanted to give them gifts, to donate the funds to Rhodes University to settle outstanding student fees. The couple, ex Rhodes University students, tied the knot in Southbroom on the KZN South Coast.
They said a close friend, Natasha Joseph had inspired them to assist cash strapped students. “Natasha has been doing the same annually in lieu of birthday presents. Earning a degree is often a key life moment for a young person. We felt strongly in helping students to realise their dreams, ” said Rycroft. His wife said earning a degree should not be inhibited by one’s inability to pay one’s university fees. “The contributions made by the donors are intended to help students who are unable to graduate, because they are cash strapped,” she said .
The vice chancellor, Dr Sizwe Mabizela, in a letter to the couple, welcomed the “profound gesture.” He said: “This has impacted me deeply. It proves, once again, the calibre and well-roundedness of our graduates.
At a time when young couples would normally and naturally only think of their own comfort and improving their lives, they have both actioned a social purpose and are living proof of our alumni.” Rhodes University in an email to South Coast Weekly Gazette confirmed that it is handling the donors funds.
If more people would like to donate to the university on behalf of the couple, they can contact senior alumni and stakeholder relations officer, Terryl McCarthy on 0466038887 or email [email protected]