Book about faculty’s successful 100-year legacy launched

A prestigious publication with the inspiring story of the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the North-West University (NWU) over the past more than a hundred years was recently published.

This book, “ʼn Bekroonde nalatenskap: Die Fakulteit Natuurwetenskappe van die NWU oor 100 jaar”, was compiled by Dr Elize van Eeden, an experienced historian, and was introduced at a function to staff of the faculty and a number of selected guests.

The dean of the faculty, Prof Kobus Pienaar, said that the book captured the history of the faculty, and that the general wish was that this inspiring history would strengthen the current and future staff and students and support them in their work.

“The reader can expect to read about the way in which dedicated and enthusiastic people managed to deliver great scientific contributions and equipped their students, and succeeded in building a proud faculty with an illustrious past, often despite difficult times and many obstacles.”

The faculty was established in 1922, but its roots date back to 1869, with the establishment of the School of Theology of the Reformed Church in Burgersdorp, later becoming part of the Potchefstroom University College and from 1951 part of the PU for CHE. Since 2004 it has been part of the North-West University.

Pienaar said that the faculty was never isolated and had in the past housed training programmes in fields like pharmacy and engineering before full faculties developed later on.

He said that researching the events revealed the development of an own school of thought based on typical natural sciences thinking, including the requirement of data-based conclusions and the precision from the mathematical sciences. “The faculty was always research driven and the development of an own value system of service, dedication and the importance of a subject philosophy was especially clear.

“The Faculty of Natural Sciences at the NWU has a particularly proud past that has to be shared with especially alumni, employees and academics nationally and internationally.”

Writers and researchers in the eighteen subject fields and five research entities contributed to recording this history.

During the event a copy of the book was presented to the campus rector, Prof Fika Janse van Rensburg, as well as to representatives of various institutions. The book is already available free of charge electronically at

To obtain a copy of the book interested persons can contact Lizelle le Roux at 018 299 2301.

Former deans of the Faculty of Natural Sciences during the introduction of the history book of the faculty. From the left are Profs Pieter Stoker (1977 to 1982), Carools Reinecke (1983 to 1985), Jan Geertsema (1990 to 1998), Daan van Wyk (1999 to 2006), Kobus Pienaar (2006 to 2016) and Prof Elize van Eeden, editor and author of the book.

 The dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Prof Kobus Pienaar, presents a copy of the book to the current rector, Prof Fika Janse van Rensburg.



Submitted on Tue, 04/04/2017 - 11:07