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Akademia launches NP van Wyk Louw Centre

The NP van Wyk Louw Centre was launched at a function on Akademia’s Centurion Campus on 25 May 2023. The guests at the opening were addressed by Prof Danie Goosen, Akademia’s academic head, Dr Daniël Maritz, manager of the NP van Wyk Louw Centre and Dr Carel Boshoff, who holds this centre’s honorary professorship. Esté Gross, Afrikaans radio personality, acted as master of ceremonies for the evening.

The purpose of the NP van Wyk Louw Centre is to see to it that the idea of a classical  university, also called the classical character formation, is established, enhanced and also presented to the wider world by Akademia. The idea of classical character formation encompasses the shaping of students’ thinking as well as their hearts so that they are eventually enabled to live a life of fulfilment, contentment, and awareness of their calling.

According to Akademia’s academic head, Prof Danie Goosen, the institution realised during the past few years that there was a great need of a centre which can enhance the classical character formation at all levels of tertiary education. “We are grateful to be able to say that this deep-seated ideal has become a reality by means of the establishment of the NP van Wyk Louw Centre.”

He emphasised that students in the world of today are faced by great challenges regarding their occupational life, but also related to a great many questions regarding spirituality, their outlook on life and way of thinking. “It is important to Akademia to empower students in their future career by means of high-quality training, but also to enable our students to fully answer such questions.”

Goosen mentioned that Akademia is eminently a higher education institution born out of and for the Afrikaans language and cultural community. “At Akademia we maintain the point of view that students who obtain a qualification with us, will have an enriching, broadening and joyous influence on our community,” he said. “Any liberated and prosperous community is dependent on well-trained and moulded students. The NP van Wyk Louw Centre will play a vital role in this respect.”

Goosen stressed that the name of the centre was derived from that of the celebrated poet and exceptional thinker, NP van Wyk Louw. “In Afrikaans cultural life, Louw represents an intellectual peak. In his work, he showed commitment to the endeavour for truth, goodness and beauty, as well as the central emphasis on the importance of insight in the greater whole. By using the name ‘NP van Wyk Louw Centre’, Akademia is committed to acknowledge and extend the intellectual peaks represented by Louw in the Afrikaans intellectual landscape.”

The first public lecture at the NP van Wyk Louw Centre had already taken place on 9 May. The lecture was presented by Prof. Reitze Rodseth with the title: “Gender identity: a metaphysical and scientific approach”.

According to Dr Daniël Maritz, manager of the NP van Wyk Louw Centre, he is looking forward to the following occasions in the pipeline for the centre. “Various public lectures, conferences and open discussions are being planned. In July the first annual Theology and Philosophy Conference will take place and a visit from an American institution alike to  Akademia, Hillsdale College, can also be looked forward to.”

Maritz further said that the NP van Wyk Louw Centre will rediscover the rich heritage of Athens, Rome and Jerusalem as classical sources of the university. “This makes the centre unique in its effort to take seriously the classical ideals of the truth and beauty of reality. We strive to mould students so that they may pursue these ideals in their careers as teachers, accountants, advocates, economists, journalists, and so forth.”

Maritz invited members of the public to engage with the centre and to attend the above-mentioned public events and to be enriched in so doing. “The NP van Wyk Louw Centre strives to serve the community. We invite each and everyone to participate in the search for, and gradual discovery, of all that is true, beautiful and pure,” he said in closing.

Do not hesitate to visit the NP van Wyk Louw Centre’s webpage or send e-mail to npvw@akademia.ac.za for more information.

Prof. Danie Goosen, academic head at Akademia, and Dr Daniël Maritz, manager of the NP van Wyk Louw Centre.
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