During this year's Alumni Awards ceremony, alumnus Heinrich Kriel received a Certificate of Appreciation. “The NWU has meant a lot to me over the years – both personally and professionally, and I am proud and honoured to be associated with the university,” he says. He also met his wife, Christelle, while studying on the campus in Vanderbijlpark.

Appreciation for a job well done


NWU alumnus Heinrich Kriel received a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of the remarkable role he played in establishing sound relationships between NWU alumni and their alma mater between April 2012 and June 2017.


During this period he served as chairperson of the Alumni Advisory Committee of the campus in Vanderbijlpark, and as member of the NWU Alumni Association.


His relationship with the campus dates back to the 1980’s when he started his studies in engineering. He was one of the first hostel students (in a group of only 25) to live on campus and was actively involved in student life, filling various leadership roles. Click here to read more about Heinrich’s valuable legacy.


NWU salutes cream of the
alumni crop

The NWU honoured the cream of the crop of its alumni at an awards ceremony on 6 October in Sandton. This year’s awards ceremony included the prestigious NWU Lifetime Achievement Award, and also recognised an NWU alumna who has excelled in the international arena in 2017.

This year marked the fifth year that the Alumni Awards were given. The coveted Lifetime Achievement Award went to the former rector of the then Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education (PU for CHE), Prof Tjaart van der Walt.


Prof Van der Walt served in this capacity from 1977 to 1987 and completed a BA degree at the university in 1951. It is the third time that this prestigious award has been given in recognition of exceptional achievements. Previous recipients include former president, Mr FW de Klerk and former vice-chancellor of the NWU, Dr Theuns Eloff.


Other renowned alumni who were honoured include a cultural leader, successful entrepreneur, renowned theologian, ground-breaker in education, dynamic lawman, revered researcher, exceptional journalist and a coaching expert. (See text box below.)


And the winners are…

Click on the names to read more.


Prof Tjaart van der Walt, former rector of the PU for CHE and exceptional leader, Lifetime Achievement Award.


Dr Frits Kok, cultural bridge-builder and influential member of the Afrikaans Language and Culture Organisation (ATKV), Arts and Culture Award.


Tamsanqa Manzi, successful entrepreneur and job creator, Community Involvement Award.


Prof Koos van Rooy, theologian, missionary and Bible translator, Community Involvement Award.


Prof Kobus Pienaar, author and highly regarded expert in education, Education Award.


Dr Sejako Senatle, SC, people’s lawyer and dynamic lawman, Public Service Award.


Prof Rudi van Eldik, revered researcher and scientist, Research Award.


Dr Elsje Jordaan, well-known sport coaching specialist and pioneer in using digital platforms to analyse match trends, Sport Award.


Daniëlla van Heerden, award-winning journalist, Young Alumnus Award.

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Miss Universe is an NWU Ambassador


Miss South Africa – and now also Miss Universe – Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters is the recipient of this year’s NWU Ambassador Award for representing the university and South Africa in the international arena. She follows in the footsteps of last years’ Ambassador Award recipients which included Caster Semenya, Sunette Viljoen, Willem Coertzen, Elroy Gelant, Terseus Liebenberg and Jean Verster.

This year's recipients of the NWU's coveted Alumni Awards are Minette Dempsey (on behalf of Dr Elsje Jordaan), Tamsanqa Manzi, Prof Kobus Pienaar, Prof Koos van Rooy, Dr Sejako Senatle SC, Miss South Africa and now also Miss Universe, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters (NWU Ambassador Award), Prof Peter van Eldik (on behalf of Prof Rudi van Eldik), Daniëlla van Heerden, Hannie van der Merwe (on behalf of Prof Tjaart van der Walt) and Dr Frits Kok.


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On the front page photograph, Stephen Bogatsu (as Tyrone Jackson) dances with Lyrinda Venter (in the role of ballet dancer Iris Kelly).