Honorary Degree Holders

Shingai Mutasa
Dr. Shingai Mutasa
2021 - Doctor in Business Leadership (Honoris Causa)




Group Chief Executive Officer – Masawara PLC

Dr. Shingai Mutasa is a Zimbabwean African entrepreneur and founder of Masawara PLC. Masawara is a diversified, pan-African investment holding company, previously listed on the AIM in London, UK, with interests in Financial Services, Hospitality, Real Estate & Property Development, Agro-chemicals, Information Technology, and more recently, Renewable Energy and Healthcare.

The Group is made up of 16 subsidiaries that are established in Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia and Tanzania and employs more than 2,000 direct employees.

As the Founder and Group Chief Executive Officer, Shingai is the key driver of the Group’s strategic vision. He holds directorships for companies including Sable Chemical Industries Limited, Minerva Holdings (Private) Limited, Botswana Insurance Company Limited, Cresta Hospitality (Proprietary) Limited and various other local and international companies and educational institutions.

Shingai majored in economics at the University of London before returning to Zimbabwe in 1980. Upon his return, he commenced a successful career in commodity trading and marketing.

Kenjiro Yamada
Dr. Kenjiro “Ken” Yamada
2019- Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa)




Former Associate General Secretary of the Division of Higher Education of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM)

Dr. Kenjiro Yamada, former Associate General Secretary of the Division of Higher Education of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), served 27 years at the Board.

After retiring, he returned to GBHEM as the Special Assistant to the General Secretary for Global Education and New Initiatives, then as interim Associate General Secretary for the Division of Higher Education.

Dr Yamada played a key role in planning and developing Africa University. In 2001, the university named the Jokomo/Yamada Library in his honor. He was instrumental in securing a $3.98 million grant to build the library. Dr. Yamada, born October 7, 1935, in Tokyo, was a major leader in expanding the services of the GBHEM to international schools, colleges, universities, and seminaries. He did so by personally providing technical assistance and by aiding the development and growth of the International Association of Methodist Schools, Colleges and Universities (IAMSCU), which now has a membership of 696 academic institutions in 67 nation,s globally.

During his first eight years with the Board, Rev Dr. Yamada completed and operated a computer-based financial assessment called MINDS, which has been recognized as the best designed and operated model in the nation. In addition to his responsibilities as staff executive with the Division of Higher Education, Dr. Yamada served on the boards of the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation, the Educational and Institutional Insurance Administrators, Inc., and GBHEM’s Investment Committee. That committee manages a $100 million portfolio.

Prior to his long career in higher education, Rev Dr. Yamada was a flight dispatcher in Tokyo. He began his career in higher education at the United Methodist-related Hiwassee College in Madisonville, Tennessee, as director of library and educational media. He holds degrees from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo and George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville, Tennessee. He earned a PhD in higher education administration at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Timothy Keating
2019 - Doctor of Leadership and Governance (Honoris Causa)





Former Executive Vice President of Government Operations for Boeing

Timothy Keating is the former executive vice president of Government Operations for Boeing, the world's leading aerospace company, and a member of the company's Executive Council.

Timothy joined Boeing in May 2008 and led the company's public policy efforts, including all US federal, state and local government liaison operations. He also led the Boeing Global Engagement organization.

Prior to joining Boeing, Timothy was senior vice president, Global Government Relations, for Honeywell International. In this position, he was responsible for leading Honeywell's companywide government relations programme.

He led a global function with offices in Washington, DC., Belgium, China, India, and Canada. In the US, Timothy oversaw Honeywell's policy advocacy efforts with Congress and the executive branch, as well as with state governments. He also chaired the Honeywell Political Action Committee. In addition, he was responsible for Honeywell's grassroots programme.

Previously, Timothy served as chairman of the board and managing partner at Timmons and Company -- one of Washington's most prestigious lobbying firms. There, from1998 until he joined Honeywell in 2002, Timothy worked closely with Congress along with a wide range of CEOs, CFOs and general counsels in formulating and communicating public policy recommendations.

Timothy served the Clinton Administration as special assistant to the President and staff director for White House Legislative Affairs. At the request of the White House, he served as director for Government Affairs and co-director of Credentials for the 1996 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Following the convention, he assisted in the preparation and logistics for the presidential and vice-presidential debates.

Timothy again served as director for Government Affairs and co-director of Credentials for the presidential Inaugural Committee in 1997. In both 2000 and 2004, he served as director of Government Affairs and co-director of Credentials for the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles and Boston, respectively. Timothy began his association with the Clinton administration in 1992 by serving on the transition team preparing for confirmation of the President's Cabinet.

Emeriti Chancellor
Dr. Tsitsi Masiyiwa
2017- Doctor of Social Welfare (Honoris Causa)




Zimbabwean African Philanthropist and Founder of Higherlife Foundation

Tsitsi Masiyiwa is a Zimbabwean African Philanthropist and Founder of Higherlife Foundation, a non-profit organization operating in Zimbabwe. In 1994 Tsitsi was appointed Executive Director and Head of Empretec Zimbabwe; a joint programme sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Zimbabwe, through the Zimbabwe Investment Centre (ZIC).

The programme’s goal was to help develop indigenous entrepreneurial capabilities, encourage linkages between SME’s and larger transnational corporations, stimulate cross-border ventures within the Southern African region, and build institutional foundations to help promote SME development.

Tsitsi Masiyiwa began her philanthropic activities in Zimbabwe during the early 1990s following the HIV/AIDS epidemic that affected the country. Tsitsi co-founded Higherlife Foundation together with her husband, Strive Masiyiwa in 1996. The non-profit organisation is funded primarily by the Econet Group. The organisation has programmes in education, health, orphans and vulnerable children. Over the years, Higherlife Foundation has directly and indirectly supported over 250,000 children to access education services.

Higherlife Foundation has become one of the largest scholarship programmes in Africa enabling thousands of children to receive scholarships to study at some of the top universities in the world. In addition to its educational initiatives, Higherlife Foundation also supported the national response to the cholera outbreak in 2008 in Zimbabwe, resuscitated the operations of the College of Medicine at the University of Zimbabwe in the 2008-2010 period, and provided food packs to starving families during peiods of drought.

Higherlife Foundation has expanded operations and has in-country presence in Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Burundi. Tsitsi’s work through Higherlife Foundation has had massive impact on the livelihood of the African population. Driven by her passion for technology and innovation, Tsitsi also co-founded Muzinda hub, an entrepreneurship and innovation project based in Harare, Zimbabwe. Muzinda is an incubator for youth digital skills development and business mentorship that leverages technology to promote youth entrepreneurship. Muzinda is the fastest growing tech hub in Sub Saharan Africa with more than 1, 000 coders.

In 2016, Morehouse College, an all-male institution and one of America’s oldest historically black colleges, presented Tsitsi with an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters for her work in continuing to support the orphaned and vulnerable African children with a focus on education, healthcare and technology.

Emeriti Chancellor
Dr James L. Waits
2017-Honorary Doctor of Ministry in Religion and Transformation Leadership (Honoris Causa)




Minister, University Administrator, Executive of the Principal Association for Theological Education in North America

Over the course of his professional career, James L. Waits has served as a minister, university administrator, executive of the principal association for theological education in North America, and the president of a national scholarship programme for candidates for the ministry and doctoral teachers of theology. He is an ordained minister of the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church.

As a young pastor in Mississippi in the 1960s, he co-authored a public statement of conscience, “Born of Conviction”, protesting racial segregation in the state.

The statement was signed by 28 white Methodist ministers and provoked considerable controversy among its citizens. These actions have since been chronicled in a history of civil rights advocacy in the State. From 1978 to 1991, James served as Dean of the Candler School of Theology Emory University, the largest United Methodist seminary in the United States. While Dean of the School of Theology, he also served as the first Director of the Carter Centre in the establishment of a new institute to address issues of international and domestic policy. In addition to his administrative roles, he held a faculty appointment at Emory University at the Griggs Candler Professor of Divinity.

In 1991, James became Executive Director of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), the principal accrediting association of theological institutions in North America. As executive Director of ATS, he led the Association in the first comprehensive review of the standards of accreditation in its history. Programmes of faculty support, including the establishment of a new Faculty Resource Centre and the Henry Luce III and Lilly Theological Research Fellowships, characterized his administration. New initiative focusing on the needs of racial and ethnic minorities, the impact of technology on theological curricula, and the public character and obligations of theological schools were also undertaken.

James is a graduate of Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, and holds advanced degrees from Yale University Divinity School, and the University of Chicago in Political Science. He is the recipient of four honorary degrees. He is a former member of the visiting committee of the Harvard Divinity School, and a former trustee of the Centre of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey. In 1999, he was awarded the distinguished service award by Yale University Divinity School for his contributions to theological education. He is a former trustee of LaGrange College in LaGrange, Georgia, of Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach Florida, and was a member of the University Senate of the United Methodist Church from 1982 to 1990. In this latter capacity, he served as a member of the Planning Committee for the newly established Africa University, focusing on the curriculum and personnel of the School of Theology.

Until 2002, James was a member of the Board of In Trust, a publication for trustees and administrators of theological schools in North America, and until 2007 served as a member of the Advisory Board of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA. He is a former trustee of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions and is now Chair Emeritus of the Board of the Society for the Arts in Religious and Theological Studies (SARTS), a scholarly organization which he helped found.

In 1998, James resigned as Executive Director of the ATS to undertake new responsibilities as President of the Fund for Theological Education (FTE), Inc., a –55 year – old national fellowship programme that promotes excellence and diversity among candidates for the Christian Ministry. The FTE, with offices in Atlanta, supports a series of initiatives to encourage young people in their exploration of religious vocations and to increase the supply of racial and ethnic minority persons for careers of teaching and research in theological education. He retired from the position of President in December 2003, and was elected President Emeritus. In 2008, he was appointed Asa G. Candler Emeritus Professor of Divinity of Emory University.

In Atlanta, James served as Chair of the Georgia Prison Ministries Project, a member of the Board of Directors of the Olmsted Linear Park Alliance, and advisor to a number of non- profit agencies. Since 1992, he has served as the religion consultant to the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations in Jacksonville, Florida. In 2012, he was elected as a member of the Board of Directors of Africa University and served on the Executive Committee. In this capacity he also co-chaired the Board’s Special Commission on the future of the University and served on the University’s Endowment Campaign Advisory Committee. He is married to Fentress Boone Waits and the couple have two adult children and three grandchildren.