Fifth generation Matie awarded journalism degree

A fifth generation Matie, Ms Esteé de Villiers, boasts with a bloodline that dates back to the 1870’s. She received her B.Phil. degree in Journalism last night (Thursday 29 March) from Stellenbosch University.

It is however not only Matie-blood that runs deep in her veins, but also printer’s ink. Estée’s father, late Mr Louis de Villiers, who died in 1995, studied at the SU in the 1970s and obtained the same degree as Estée in  1981 under the well known Piet Cillie. He worked as a journalist at the SABC and the Sunday Independant.

Her grandmother, the 90 year old dr Helene de Villiers (née Oosthuysen) and resident of  Azaleahof in Stellenbosch, was the first female editor of the Stellenbosse Student. She was later known as translator and expert on childrens’ stories. She studied at Stellenbosch from 1939-1944 and also served on the Student Representative Council. Her husband, Prof Jan Lodewyk de Villiers, studied at the Theological Seminary from 1940. He was a lecturer at the Seminary from 1969 until his retirement in 1987. Prof De Villiers died in 2009.

Estée’s great grandfather, Rev Jacobus Christiaan Christoffel Oosthuysen, was Dr De Villiers’ father. Rev Oosthuysen also studied at the Theological Seminary during the years of the First World War. His father in law, in other words Estée’s great great, Rev Herman Frederik Schoon – was the first ‘Matie’ to study at the Theological Seminary in the 1870’s.

A total of 622 students from the Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences, Law and Theology received their degrees during the fourth and final March graduation ceremony.

Two honorary doctorates were also awarded on Thursday. Mr David Piedt, a respected community leader from Oudtshoorn and former chairperson of the KKNK board, was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), honoris causa, for his dedication to the education sector and the promotion of Afrikaans.

The Internet entrepreneur and venture capital specialist, Mr Roelof Botha, received  the degree of Doctor of Commerce (DComm), honoris causa, for his imaginative and visionary entrepreneurial spirit in absentia.