September is the month that we celebrate South African heritage. It is also the month before we particularly bring the legacy of the late Prof Russel Botman into memory. The legacy he leaves has become our heritage.
Prof Botman leaves us with a wealth of knowledge and wisdom in the form of documents, speeches, TV, and radio recordings and photographs, all safely kept in the archive of the Beyers Naudé Centre for Public Theology which he founded. And an archive is a place of heritage. Fortunately, his heritage goes beyond what is collected in the archive, because His legacy is a living legacy. A legacy not only in the memories of his peers and elders, but also in the lives of the youth who know him “by hearsay only”.
The Russel Botman Bursary Fund Committee, once again, had a wonderful opportunity to participate in one-on-one engagements with the current recipients. What a splendid occasion of meeting these young people who don’t cease to amaze us with how hard they work and how much they achieve. They excel not only academically but also as student leaders. They make us proud as they continue the tradition and example set by Prof Botman.
And just to put us on the right path towards the ninth Russel Botman Memorial Lecture and the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Russel Botman Bursary Fund on 18 October, I represented the Fund as a donor to student financing, at the opening of the Masiphumelele Centre at Stellenbosch University. The Centre “stands as a beacon of student access, success, and holistic well-being” (Karen Bruns, Senior Director: Development and Alumni Relations). The building in Banghoek Street provides space and facilities for donors and students to engage.
The legacy of Prof Botman is making a wider impact by being recognised as a player in the field of donors. Please continue to play your part and donate to the Fund in order to afford a greater number of deserving students bursary opportunities at Stellenbosch University. Our collective future depends on it!