CUT awards Chancellor’s Excellence Award in Hospitality Management to George Cohen at the 2023 Autumn Graduations

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CUT awards Chancellor’s Excellence Award in Hospitality Management to George Cohen at the 2023 Autumn Graduations

Photo: From left: Dr Sally Dzingwa, Institutional Registrar, Mr George Cohen awarded CUT’s 2023 Chancellor’s Excellence Award in Hospitality Management, and Prof. David Ngidi, acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal.


The Central University of Technology has awarded Managing Director, hotelier, and expert in the Hospitality Management Industry, George Cohen, with the prestigious 2023 Chancellor’s Excellence Award in Hospitality Management.

Admired in the hospitality industry as a prominent hotelier with a particular flair for, and understanding of, the African hotel industry, Cohen thanked CUT for the immense and unexpected honour. “Secondly and more importantly, I’d like to congratulate all the graduates on their well-earned success and wish them luck with all their endeavours as they venture into the world of employment or further studies, that they are fruitful and helping them carve out the career paths of their future,” he said.

After matriculating from St. Andrew's School in Bloemfontein in 1970, Cohen commenced with a degree in accounting and commercial law at the University of Natal. He began his journey in hotel management in 1973 as the Head Night Auditor and Relief Manager of Malibu Hotel (Southern Sun Hotels) in Durban. In the early 1970s, Cohen pursued both educational and work-related opportunities in England. In 1975, he joined Westminster College Hotel School in London, and registered as a part-time Hotel and Catering International Management Association (HCIMA) intern. He then ascended to the general manager position only six years after starting in the hospitality industry; a feat only achieved through his impeccable work ethic and drive.

“Education is the pillar of your future, which coupled with experience will take you far, but I’ve learnt in life the most important thing is the attitude towards your future and the desire to be exceptional is what will set you aside from the rest as you venture forth. South Africa is a country of immense opportunity, it’s there waiting for you, you just have to make the effort and show the determination to succeed,” added Cohen.

Cohen is known for generously coaching and sharing his knowledge with up-and-coming hospitality graduates and has supported the CUT Hotel School, its alumni and work-integrated learning (WIL) students for many years. Under his leadership, a Saxon Bursary was established during the period 2016 to 2018 for deserving CUT Hotel School students. “The school of hospitality management is one of if not the finest in South Africa, I have been privileged to be associated with the school since its inception in 1993 when I had the first intake of first year students spend six months with me in England to get work experience,” he concluded.

The previous recipient of the Chancellor’s Excellence Award was the late Dr Tate Makgoe in 2021 for his role in leadership.

Here is an overview of recipients of the Chancellor’s Excellence Award and honorary degrees at CUT.

During the 2023 CUT Autumn graduation season, 3 756 undergraduates, including 62 master’s and 21 doctoral recipients, will be celebrated.

Uploaded: 10 May 2023
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