18 October 1953 - 28 June 2014

Prof. H Russel Botman

Russel Botman, who held positions as professor and dean in theology, was the first and only black rector and vice-chancellor of Stellenbosch University after being the second black deputy vice-chancellor. As minister of the Dutch Reformed Mission Church, he was also a steadfast leader towards unity in the Uniting Church of Southern Africa. He was an “academic by nomination”, called upon in higher education in ethics, missiology and public theology.


Russel Botman bursary fund

Russel Botman Bursary Fund launched on the 18th of October 2013 - on his 60th birthday. Botman asked guests to contribute to the bursary fund instead of giving personal gifts and as such the first donations to the fund came from the invited guests of his 60th birthday celebrations.

History of the

Russel Botman Bursary Fund

Throughout all the professional, community and social positions he held and delegations he lead, Russel Botman showed an unwavering commitment in working towards a just and equal society and environment. He expressed the grave need for funding that would give talented students with potential, but no means, access to financial assistance so that they would have the opportunity to engage in higher education. He was acutely aware of the tremendous talent originating from the townships and rural towns of the Western Cape that would simply go to waste without an exceptional effort to invest in these young people and their education.

Learn more about RBBF

Our Team

Learn about the team behind the Russel Botman Bursary Foundation and how their experience impacts the vision.

Our Donors

The Russel Botman Bursary Fund committee members would like to sincerely thank all the donors that have contributed over the years.

Russel Botman Annual Lecture

This lecture is arranged on or close to the birthday of Russel Botman (18 October) at the Faculty of Theology at Stellenbosch University

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Tribute Book

Russel Botman: A Tribute 1953-2014

The celebratory volume relates the life story of the late Russel Botman from his earliest childhood until his last day as rector and vice-chancellor of Stellenbosch University.

The various tributes start with Botman’s youth and student years. Other aspects of his life portrayed include his church involvement, academic teaching, research, local and international university management, memorial reflection and a personal view.

“The nature of the tributes and celebratory volumes is that it can never be exhaustive. It tells a rich story from limited perspectives. It, however, serves as invitation, stimulus and inspiration to others connected to Botman to also tell their stories about his story. If this volume succeeds in fulfilling that role, it has served its purpose.”

The Russel Botman Collection

Beryl Botman collected and donated personal documents and books to the Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University. The books are mostly kept in the faculty library and others in the Gericke Library. The documents include his profile, sermons, speeches, articles and notes. All of these were categorised and are kept at the archive of the Beyers Naude Centre for Public Theology where they are available for use.


Bursary Recipients

Blog Posts

  • 22 Mar 2023 by Tech, in Russel Botman Bursary Fund
    Second Chances
    In March, Stellenbosch University rewards and celebrates second chances. Those s...
  • 23 Feb 2023 by Tech, in Russel Botman Bursary Fund
    Sharing as love
    February sees the start of the academic year at Stellenbosch University. We are ...
  • 18 Nov 2022 by Tech, in Russel Botman Bursary Fund
    Telling Stories, Enriching Lives
    Last month the Russel Botman Bursary Fund celebrated its ninth anniversary at th...
Donate towards the

Russel Botman Bursary Fund

The late Prof Russel Botman was passionate about creating opportunities for deserving students to gain access to higher education. And it is this legacy that Stellenbosch University will continue to honour – with your help.

Prof Botman established the Russel Botman Bursary Fund (RBBF) on his 60th birthday on 18 October 2013 - requesting friends, family and colleagues to contribute to the Fund in lieu of gifts. This Bursary Fund now gives each one of us the opportunity to help make his dream of creating a better future for the next generation, a reality.

Prof Hayman Russel Botman did not only make a positive difference in Stellenbosch but was highly-regarded in higher education circles the world over.