The 鶹Ƶ Alumni Association presented Distinguished Alumni Awards to Dr. Robert Motzer ’77 of Ridgewood, New Jersey, and Nonskikelelo “Ntsiki” Sisulu ’97 of Midrand, South Africa, during the opening celebration of the college’s “Milestone Weekend” on Thursday, May 16.

Motzer is a medical oncologist who has been at the forefront of research into kidney cancer for more than 30 years, and Sisulu throughout her career has supported and led initiatives to eradicate poverty and enhance community safety, with particular emphasis on assisting children and women.  In conjunction with the award recognition, they also delivered reflections on their career journeys during presentations on Friday, May 17, as the three-day Milestone Weekend continued.

The annual Distinguished Alumni Awards are presented by the Alumni Association Board of Directors to recognize alumni who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in their chosen profession and have made a positive impact on their community. The award, inaugurated in 1970, is the highest honor that alumni can receive from Hope’s Alumni Association.  The citations read during the award presentations follow.

 

Dr. Robert MotzerRobert J Motzer M.D. ’77

“Dr. Robert Motzer’s Merck Award for Organic Chemistry, which he received as a student at Hope College, launched his distinguished career in the medical field. It was the first of many awards to follow.

“After graduating magna cum laude from 鶹Ƶ with a degree in chemistry, Dr. Motzer attended University of Michigan Medical School. Following his residency and fellowships at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Cornell University Medical Center, he served in various roles honing his skills as a physician. 

“Currently, Dr. Motzer serves as professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, Jack and Dorothy Byrne chair in clinical oncology, kidney cancer section head, and attending physician at Memorial Hospital for Cancer and Allied Disease.

“Throughout his career, Dr. Motzer has made extraordinary contributions in the field of oncology. He is widely recognized for pioneering research in the treatment of renal cell carcinoma (RCC), a notoriously challenging form of cancer. His innovative approaches, including the development of targeted therapies and immunotherapies, have revolutionized the landscape of RCC treatment, offering hope to countless patients.

“Dr. Motzer's journey from a promising student at Hope College to a world-renowned oncologist is a source of inspiration for generations to come, embodying the very essence of excellence and achievement.”

 

Nontsikelelo SisuluNontsikelelo Sisulu ’97

“Ntsiki’s journey of influence and impact is marked by a profound dedication to serving others and effecting meaningful change. 

“After graduating from 鶹Ƶ with a psychology degree, Ntsiki earned a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Roosevelt University. Since then, she has spent the majority of her career serving her home country of South Africa.

“In addition, Ntsiki served as a director within the South African president’s administration, where she supported the spouse of the president in her work to raise awareness about the plight of women and poverty eradication. As the chief director of institutional support for children and women, Ntsiki was responsible for promoting and protecting the rights and dignity of all children to enable them to reach their full potential in a free and safe society.

“Now as the head of the department of community safety in the Gauteng Provincial Government, Ntsiki works to ensure the safety of communities through deepening meaningful community participation, enhancing social crime prevention and initiating sound and supporting institutional arrangements.

“Outside of her work for the government, Ntsiki previously served as the chairperson of the Young Women in Business Network (YWBN) located in Johannesburg, South Africa. The YWBN is a broad-based women’s empowerment company that is owned, controlled and managed by women.

“At Hope College, we celebrate Ntsiski’s remarkable achievements and her spirit of compassion, resilience and service.”