Matie Voices

Rev JS Gericke

SU Vice-Chancellor 1953–1981

Rev Jacobus Stephanus (JS) Gericke was born on 3 November 1911 in the George district and matriculated in Ficksburg before studying literature and theology at Stellenbosch University (SU). He obtained both his under- and postgraduate qualifications with distinctions.

Before joining the mother church in Stellenbosch, he served as a minister of religion in communities as far afield as Uitenhage and Swellendam. In Stellenbosch he later joined the central congregation where he preached as a students’ minister.

Gericke also served on the SU Council since 1948 and in July 1953, following the death of Dr Karl Bremer, he was elected as vice-chancellor. During this period he not only worked closely with four different rectors, namely Prof RW Wilcocks, Prof HB Thom, Prof JN de Villiers and Prof MJ de Vries, but also developed lifelong friendship bonds with all of them.

Outside of his private family life, Gericke had three public passions: the church, the country and the university. He was the chairperson of the committee tasked with erecting the Taalmonument in Paarl, as well as a trustee of both the Jan Marais scholarship fund and Het Jan Marais National Fund. Furthermore, he served as a member of the South African Academy for Science and Art and as a director of Volkskas and Old Mutual banks.