Old Rhodian Union bursaries more than double over the last year

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Bursary awardees
Bursary awardees

Thanks to a generous bequest from Old Rhodian, Dr Abraham Faure, Rhodes University’s Old Rhodian Union (ORU) bursaries have increased more than twofold in the last year.

This year, 43 recipients received bursaries to the total amount of R437 000, a significant increase from the R225 000 awarded in 2018.

The bursaries, ranging from R7 000 to R15 000, were handed out to the students at a cocktail party. Old Rhodian Union President, Professor Rod Walker, explained, “We have approximately R5.5 million invested in the Rhodes Foundation and then accrue additional funds from other sources for bursaries on an annual basis. At the end of any given year, we establish the market value of our investments and then allocate 4-5% of that value for bursaries.”

ORU bursary funding and bursary recipients have increased exponentially since 2000. According to Prof Walker, ORU bursaries to the total of R81 000 were dispersed to 30 recipients that year. “Compare this to the R437 000 dispersed to 44 students in 2019,” he said. “All thanks to the generous support of our donors.”

A R8 million bequest left to Rhodes University by Old Rhodian, Dr Abraham Faure, is responsible for much of this year’s increases, after it was invested and the capital used for bursaries.

The Old Rhodian Union, founded in 1911, works closely with the Rhodes University Alumni Office and the Rhodes UK and USA Trust in raising funds through national and international alumni to ensure that future generations of Old Rhodian children can obtain their degrees.

“I hope that after you graduate from Rhodes University, you will consider supporting the ORU so that future students can benefit from a Rhodes University education as you have,” said Prof Walker.


The Old Rhodian Union bursaries comprise of eight distinct funder groups:

  • The Rosemary Libby Bursary was created in Rosemary Libby’s honour with the goal to provide support for quality education.
  • The UK Bursaries are sponsored by money donated by the Rhodes University UK Trust.
  • The Chapman Bursaries are made possible by generous donations from Mr Mike Chapman in honour of his parents, Professor Hugh Chapman and his wife, Jean.
  • The Chris Hummel Bursary was created in honour of the Rhodes University Professor, for his contribution to the history of Port Alfred and its environs.
  • The Williams Family Bursary is made possible by the Williams family’ annual donations.
  • The Fitzsimons Bursaries are funded by a generous bequest.
  • The Old Rhodian Bursaries are made possible by donations from Old Rhodians worldwide.
  • The MySchool Bursaries come from money raised by Old Rhodians who have joined the MySchool programme.


If you wish to donate through the MySchool fund, you can apply for a card that allows you to swipe when buying items at certain stores. A percentage of the total buying amount is allocated to Rhodes University, at no extra cost to the cardholder. The University currently receiving approximately R1500 per month from this initiative. The link for the application form can be accessed here.