In March 2016 Mr Chris Westergaard, a Joburg resident, contacted the Director of Development and Fundraising, Mr Peter Bezuidenhoudt. He and his wife, Audrey, handed him an envelope with a note pledging their R1 million donation to Wits. Mr Westergaard explained that he is originally from Denmark, that he himself has no tertiary education but that his three daughters had studied at Wits. He said that he was making this donation because of the importance and impact of tertiary education in South Africa.
“A matric today means very little, as one may observe in our daily lives. Further education is imperative and Professor Habib gives us confidence that Wits University is in capable hands. It is our hope that our donation may help to advance Wits students and the reputation of Wits internationally” says Mr Westergaard. Considering that his interests are archaeology and the natural environment, Wits thought it fitting to use this donation to fund the new undergraduate laboratory for the School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies (GAES). Mr and Mrs Westergaard were invited to experience Wits’ Rock Art Research Institute (RARI), Origins Centre, Archaeology Division and Fossil Vault.