Welcome to all our students at the new academic year.
Where I grew up – my ancestors were
from the Kalahari and Namaqualand – we would welcome each other at family
gatherings with a feast around the fire. Everyone would be involved in the
preparation, but also, in the enjoyment and the sharing of the meal. And while
this was happening, we would spend hours
and hours telling stories of the days of old and sitting around the fire.
The Faculty of Theology at Stellenbosch University wants to be that African
village where we, despite our different roles and responsibilities, or where we
come from, share in this welcoming. May you also join in and experience this
during the new academic year.
This is a significant year. For some of you it’s your first year at a
university. Maybe you are first in your family and you are here to pursue your
passion and calling. You came with excitement, but also, understandably, a
tinge of apprehension. For some of you, this is a continuation of your journey
with us. And for some of you this will
be your last year with us, surely also an emotional experience. Irrespective of
where you are on this journey, come and join the circle around the fire. Share
the responsibilities, joys and challenges. In this home-coming, you may
discover or recognize strengths and gifts you never thought you had. You may
also find challenges, limitations or even flaws within yourself. Perhaps you
will discover limits in the way you have been thinking. You may feel inadequate
at times. Please remember that this feeling is fine. It signals, very
importantly, that you are growing – you are learning and changing.
It is a journey of discovery, growth, and celebration.
There is another reason why this is a significant year: in 2018 we as part of Stellenbosch University
also commemorate our 100th year of existence. It is very special to be part of
this rich heritage. We become part of a bigger storyand in this we discover a
sense of identity, our mission in order to fulfill it or perhaps, betray it.
Again, come and join the circle as you play your role with us.
As an African ecumenical faculty, we share in your excitement for the year.
May we as a learning community work together, challenge each other, grow together.
But let us also celebrate as we discover ourselves on this journey. And as we
join the circle, mary you discover that our roots grow ever deeper into the
African soil, so we will grow strong in order to bear fruit, which will feed
the next generation and generations to come.
Dean: Prof Reggie Nel
Tel: +27 21 808 3254