Associate Professor Mark Graham, ex-HOD of the College of Accounting gives last lecture after 30 years at UCT

Associate Professor Mark Graham, ex-HOD of the College of Accounting gives last lecture after 30 years at UCT

9 Nov 2021 - 20:45

By Paul Maughan

Perhaps, like many others, you voted Mark as The Best UCT MBA Lecturer? Perhaps you know him from his many years of teaching Financial Reporting to future CA(SA)’s? Or maybe you bumped into him wearing a speedo and Croc’s over the December holidays at Nature’s Valley?

Let me assure you that there is, even more, to be celebrated about this man.

Mark managed to summarise the Leases standard on a single page. He invented The Big Picture diagram that made sense of the annual financial statements. He met his wife backpacking in India. He led the College of Accounting through a period of significant transition and with great success. He continues to rank the Integrated Reports of the Top 100 SA companies.  He, only on the odd occasion, admitted that he didn’t have a clue how to answer a very technical question raised in tutorials – disappointing the person who asked but simultaneously encouraging everyone else in the class who learnt not to get “lost in the weeds” of detail. He bought shares in Macadams and really wished he had sold at the right time.

Having spent many years as Mark’s student, I then spent a decade as a colleague. And at this closer distance, he is even more worthy of respect. Quite simply, he is someone I want to be like. Taking his work seriously, but not himself. Meticulously prepared, uncompromising in his desire to help students learn, leading by example and firmly prioritising his family.



This photo shows Mark and Michelle celebrating his final lecture. We wish both of you every blessing on your retirement together. May the rare birds flock your way, may the Garden Route surprise you with beauty and may you receive the appreciation of those who honour and respect you!

Paul Maughan was a senior lecturer in the College of Accounting for 11 years. Paul left UCT in 2018 to become the Congregational Leader at Common Ground Church. He also lectures part-time at UCT’s Graduate School of Business.

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