Remembering John Kuhn

John Kuhn was a remarkable young man. During his four years at the University of Witwatersrand he earned both BA and MA degrees, reinvigorated student government, and built a successful business. At the time of his death in March 2003 at age 24 John was in his first year at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, reading for an MPhil in International Relations.


John found time to listen to his fellow students and bring diverse interests together for collective gain. He believed in the inherent equality of all.

To celebrate and give practical expression to the ideals of John’s life, his mother Madeleine and friends created the John Kuhn Scholarship in 2005 at the University of Witwatersrand.

Each year the Scholarship, valued at R25 000 in 2014, helps a post-graduate student at Wits who exhibits John’s qualities of leadership and academic excellence to fund degree-related research. Students eligible for the John Kuhn Scholarship should demonstrate their desire and ability to help build a more equitable, prosperous, and democratic South Africa.

The John Kuhn Scholarship is awarded through an open, publicly advertised annual competition with the help of a distinguished selection committee based at Wits.

The John Kuhn Fellowship

Each year the Trust will provide financial assistance to post-graduate students at Wits who exhibit John's qualities of scholarship and leadership.

The awards, administered by Wits, will enable these future leaders to undertake degree-related research in their chosen fields in South Africa or abroad.

Students eligible for John Kuhn Fellowship should be pursuing an advanced degree on topics aimed at helping to meet the domestic and international challenges facing South Africa in their ongoing quest for a more equitable, prosperous, and democratic nation.

Fellowship will be awarded through an open, publicly advertised annual competition with the help of a distinguished selection committee appointed by the Trust and the University.

How to apply...

Eligible candidates should send a resume, personal statement and short letter showing why they are suitable. Apply now

The deadline for applications is September 1st of the year before a candidate wishes to take up the fellowship.

Contribution to the Trust

The John Kuhn Trust depends on the financial contributions of individuals, educational institutions and charitable organisations to enable it to help realise the ambitions of the talented, visionary students we hope will become John Kuhn Fellows.

Past contributions include Rhodes Trust in Oxford, which donated £30,000 towards establishing the Trust, but many individuals have also kindly contributed financially or otherwise.

We invite you to join John's family and friends in making a financial contribution to ensure that the John Kuhn Fellowships is a success.

For more information, please contact us.

Bank Details

Donations are tax deductable and may be made to:

Standard Bank Braamfontein
Account: WITS Foundation Account No.2
Account number: 002900076
Branch Code: 004805
Swift Code: SB ZZA AJJ 00480502
L number 1999

Kindly fax deposit slip to +27 11 717 9728


" My country is today - and will be for a long time to come - in need of leaders who are willing to fight battles for the voiceless. My country yearns for leaders who feel the concepts of accountability, representation and delivery. Ex Africa semper aliquid novi! "

-- John Kuhn, September 2001

The John Kuhn Fellowship & Trust