26 December 2021 | Story Department of Communication and Marketing | Photo Hannes Pieterse
Desmond Tutu
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu receiving an honorary doctorate from the UFS in January 2011

The University of the Free State (UFS) mourns the passing of South African icon and Nobel peace prize laureate, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.

The country has lost an exemplary leader who has made a huge contribution to peace, reconciliation, and justice in the world, Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, says. “Archbishop Tutu inspired people around the world with his humility, compassion, and resilient spirit and we can all imitate his acts of kindness.”

The UFS recognised Archbishop Tutu for his outstanding contribution to South Africa and the world, awarding him an honorary doctorate in January 2011. He received a Doctor of Theology, recognising the contribution he has made in the field of theology through his teachings and the books he has written.

Archbishop Tutu visited the UFS more than once and launched the university’s International Institute for Studies in Race, Reconciliation and Social Justice - now the Unit for Institutional Change and Social Justice - when he accepted his honorary doctorate on the Bloemfontein Campus.

In October 2013, Archbishop Tutu and his wife Leah visited the university to launch the Annual Intercontinental Leah Tutu Symposium on rape and violence against women in honour of Mrs Tutu, who has been an outspoken advocate for women’s rights and the sanctity of family life.

Over the years, his association with the university remained, with the annual Tutu-Jonker Prestige Lecture hosted by the Faculty of Theology and Religion.

“On behalf of the university community, I wish to express our sincere condolences to his family and friends,” says Prof Petersen.

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