H. B. Thom biography

H. B. Thom

Deceased Person

1905 – 1983


Who was H. B. Thom?

Hendrik Bernardus Thom was born in Jamestown, Eastern Cape, and grew up in Burgersdorp, South Africa. Because he was the 5th grandchild of his grandfather and namesake with the first names Hendrik Bernardus, his parents decided to call him by the nickname Quintus to distinguish him from his cousins; he was known as Quintie Thom throughout his life. He matriculated at Burgersdorp High School and studied at Stellenbosch University. He continued his studies in history in Germany at the Friedrich Wilhelms Universit├Ąt in Berlin, at the Sorbonne in Paris and in Amsterdam, researching his doctoral thesis, which he completed on his return to Stellenbosch. The title of his doctoral thesis was: Die geskiedenis van die skaapboerdery in Suid-Afrika.

During the next year he was appointed as Lecturer of History at the Stellenbosch University, and promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1935. In 1937 he was appointed as professor of history at the same institution.

From 1954 H.B. Thom was Rector of the Stellenbosch University until his retirement in 1969. In 1983 he was voted Chancellor, but he died at the end of the same year having served as Chancellor of the university for only nine months. The HB Thom theatre at the university was named in his honour.


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Dec 13, 1905
Also known as
  • HB Thom
Nov 4, 1983

on July 23, 2013

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