Winnie Mandela received an honorary doctorate degree from the school. She also served as the university's commencement speaker.
The ex-wife of former South African President Nelson Mandela, she is known by supporters for her work for the poor and the oppressed. The Mandela's were anti-apartheid activists who were instrumental in ending the system of legal racial segregation that was in place in South Africa between 1948 and 1994.
"Our people remain grateful to the support you have given us during the difficult and trying moments of our lives. You were fellow travelers in our pain," Mandela said during her keynote speech at JCSU.
JCSU President Dr. Ron Carter met Mandela during his work in South Africa with the student movement to abolish apartheid.