Donor leaves R50 million to Stellenbosch University in their Will

Stellenbosch University. File Picture: Cindy Waxa/Independent Newspapers Archives

Stellenbosch University. File Picture: Cindy Waxa/Independent Newspapers Archives

Published Jul 9, 2024


A donor has changed the lives of many students after Stellenbosch University announced it received R50 million in a donor’s last will and testament.

The university said talented undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Faculty of Theology and Department of Music received the donation.

Senior Director of Development and Alumni Relations, Karen Bruns said while the transformative power of giving is always spoken about, here it is now in action.

“The donor opted to remain anonymous and though we would have loved to publicly name and honour a person with such foresight, we will respect their wishes. We are however incredibly grateful. This wonderful gift of education will undoubtedly leave a legacy,” Bruns said.

Acting Director: Principal Giving at the university, Hugo Steyn said the R50 million is specifically earmarked for bursaries allocated to financially disadvantaged undergraduate and postgraduate students within the Faculty of Theology and the Department of Music.

“The funds will be invested and create a sustainable annual income stream, benefiting countless theology and music students for years to come. The first round of funds will be available soon and we should be able to award bursaries from 2025.

“Bursary programmes are crucial for providing access to higher education. These programmes bridge the financial gap for talented students, ensuring their potential is not hindered by economic constraints,” Steyn said.

Dean of the Faculty of Theology, Professor Reggie Nel said religious communities continue to play a decisive role on our continent, and specifically to pursue the calls for justice, peace, and healing.

“At times it failed this call by merely serving its own interests. This donation will ensure that the rigorous study of these communities and the formation of its leaders takes place in dialogue with all the various sciences and different world views, to serve the common good. The donor is to be commended for leaving this legacy for generations to come. It will leave a footprint in our country and on our continent,” Nel said.

Chairman of the Department of Music, Professor Mario Nell said bursaries for music students are crucial.

“They help to remove financial barriers, promote equal opportunities, and assist in fostering excellence in the musical arts. They can provide support to committed students towards unlocking their full potential, and ultimately enrich the broader community with their talent, contributing to societal cohesion through cultural activity – a vision which we hold as essential at the SU Music Department,” Nell said.

Vice-Chancellor and university Rector, Professor Wim de Villiers expressed his appreciation for the donor’s generosity.

He said this gift to the institution will allow talented students to pursue their goals free from financial worries.

“This donor’s vision and unwavering commitment to higher education in South Africa is an inspiration,” De Villiers said.