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A small band of young graduates met in 1984 to launch an initiative to recognise and celebrate the life of a friend who had died while in his prime, a student at the University of Cape Town. This group of friends could not have imagined that an initiative which raised R600 would grow and bloom into one of Cape Town's premier scholarship programmes - the Dwane Martin Memorial Scholarship.

Since those humble beginnings, this group has committed about half a million Rand and have made well over 40 awards to UCT's top student leaders since its first award was handed out in 1986. The scholarships were indeed a forerunner to the prestigious University Student Leaders' Awards and are awarded together with these awards annually in front of the university community on campus.

The Sir Richard Luyt Memorial Scholarship, named for the long standing Chairman of the Selection Panel came later in 1991, when it became apparent to us that accomplishment in student government was partly a consequence of longevity at the university.

At Sir Richard's suggestion, the management committee created a second award which particularly recognises promising student leaders, most of whom come from those on the normal three year plan at UCT.

The Sir Richard Luyt and Dwane Martin Scholarship awardees have been outstanding all-round student leaders at the university in any given year. Previous winners have included SRC presidents, Shawco student presidents, Rag chairpersons, internationally-acclaimed sportsmen and women, faculty council presidents, and heads of residences and of the Head Student's Council.

In 2009, the committee of the Dwane Martin Memorial Scholarship and the Sir Richard Luyt Memorial Scholarship met and decided that they would now evolve to honour one of the scholarships' principal founders and supporters, Kerry Capstick-Dale. Kerry, a former student and lecturer at the University of Cape Town, died unexpectedly in mid-2008.

About Dwane Martin

The Dwane Martin Memorial Scholarship was created in 1985, and first awarded in 1986 to Iain Barton, in memory of this respected and much-loved University of Cape Town student, who passed away in September 1984.

At the time of his death, Dwane was reading for a Master of Arts in Political Science and was lecturing in the Department of Public Administration. He was born and raised in Floydada, Texas. However, after his family emigrated to Natal, he completed his schooling at Michaelhouse.

In 1980 Dwane registered at UCT for a graduate honours degree in political science. Aside from teaching in the department, he also joined the RAG committee, organising the float procession just one month later. In 1981 he became business manager for the RAG executive and was also extremely involved in SHAWCO. In addition, he took on responsibility for OVOSC, a UCT fraternity of which he was a founder member.

Throughout 1983 and 1984 Dwane maintained his interests in SHAWCO and OVOSC and was a prominent young member of the City and Civil Service Club (now the Cape Town Club).