Wits celebrates 99 years of excellence
- Wits University
Wits launches global appeal, former Wits SRC President donates $100,000 to support students
The University of the Witwatersrand celebrates 99 years of academic and research excellence, social activism, and the advancement of the public good, on Monday, 4 October 2021.
Wits was born out of the School of Mines and was formally inaugurated on 4 October 1922. The University will celebrate 100 years of excellence in 2022 through the Wits Centenary Campaign, and invites all staff members, students, alumni, donors, and members of the extended Wits community, both local and global, to participate in events, reunions, fundraising drives, a homecoming weekend and other activities in the coming year.
“We stand on the shoulders of over 200 000 illustrious graduates who have made their mark on society,” says Wits Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Zeblon Vilakazi. “We remain the home of talented scholars, staff and students, and look forward to shaping the next 100 years. We invite all friends of Wits to participate in our celebrations, and to support our activities, including the Wits Global Appeals which will launch soon.”
R3 billion Centenary Campaign
One component of the Wits Centenary Campaign is to raise R3 billion to fund academic and research activities, infrastructure, and students. The University has raised approximately R2 billion to date, and is grateful to the donors who have come on board in recent months to contribute to the campaign through various projects. Some of the major donations include:
- A $150 million donation from alumnus Natie Kirsch to support ‘missing middle’ students,
- A commitment from alumnus Dr Patrick Soon-Shiong to invest in cancer and vaccine research at Wits,
- R54 million for research and academic activities in the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment from Sibanye-Stillwater, including renaming the Amic Deck to the Sibanye-Stillwater Infinity Bridge,
- R16 million for a bespoke student endowment from Mark Lamberti,
- The Roy McAlpine Charitable Foundation donated R70 million for a new state of the art burns unit at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital,
- The Oppenheimer Memorial Trust donated R15 million towards the African Future Studies Initiative led by Prof. Peace Kiguwa,
- R15,7 million from the Claude Leon Foundation for two research chairs and a research programme to tackle South Africa’s water crisis,
- R60 million for the new Wits Surgical Skills Laboratory, and
- An invaluable book collection from Jack Ginsberg to the Wits Art Museum
Former SRC President donates $100,000 to help students
Former Wits SRC President (1971), Rex Heinke pledged $100,000 to aid students and challenged other presidents to support the campaign.
Wits is fundraising for projects in eight priority areas: digital transformation, global health and sustainability solutions, entrepreneurship and innovation, governance and social justice, future proofing our national treasures, funding the next generation of staff and students, and finding support through our local and global alumni. There is also close collaboration with Wits’ fundraising offices in the US, UK and Australia and many Schools already have their own Wits100 plans underway.
Wits alumni around the world, together with staff, students, parents, and friends of Wits, can play a significant role in ensuring the success of the Centenary Campaign through small, affordable donations. Alumni can make monthly, annual, occasional or once-off donations to a discretionary endowment fund for student support; teaching, research and innovation; and campus infrastructure and improvements here.
It’s your campaign
Read more about how you can get involved in the #Wits100 campaign: https://wits100.wits.ac.za/ Wits. For Good.