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29 January 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Anja Aucamp
Prof Francis Petersen speech
“We can create an institution that operates and lives in the times of embracing and celebrating diversity, inclusivity, and academic excellence by ensuring that students own their time at university,” said Prof Francis Petersen.

25 January 2019 marked the official welcoming of the University of the Free State’s (UFS) first-year students, as they moved into their respective residences and were warmly welcomed on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus. This day also marked the start of the registration process for first-year students.

According to first-year Psychology student Keisha Claasen, who moved into her residence earlier on 25 January, her first experience of the UFS was daunting but exciting, as she had never been in a similar environment. According to Given Gwerera, who dropped his son off at the Karee residence earlier the day, “the UFS is an institution with great culture and an overall good academic record.” He further explained that he trusts his son to make full use of the opportunities presented to him, as he has a cool head on his shoulders.

On the evening of 25 January, an eager group of millennials, joined by their parents, took the first sip from their cup of varsity life as they assembled on the Red Square of the Bloemfontein Campus to meet the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, members of Rectorate, the deans of all faculties, and the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the UFS.

“2019 will be a year of continued change; the UFS is thrilled about the prospect of bringing about opportunities for adaptation and realignment to the future,” said Prof Francis Petersen.

He further explained that the university prides itself in moulding its students into well-rounded individuals who will develop into globally competitive graduates as required in a diversity of landscapes. Prof Petersen urged first-years to remain open to the technological developments that go with globalisation, because of its permanent effects on society today.

First-years were further advised to take advantage of the rich pool of academic research and knowledge that is characteristic of the university and is piloted by UFS scholars, by engaging with and learning from them.

The inspiring night concluded on a colourful note, as the audience enjoyed an artistic laser show in front of the Main Building. Caption:

“UFS academics conduct research that forces the world to take note,” said Prof Francis Petersen at the official first-year welcoming ceremony on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus.

News Archive

Nobel Laureate for Chemistry to visit UFS
2017-10-28

Description: Prof Levitt read more Tags: Prof Levitt read more

Prof Michael Levitt will be hosted by the UFS from
14 to 16 November 2017, where he will present the
first lecture in the Vice-Chancellor’s
Prestige Lecture Series.
Photo: Supplied

It is a great honour for the University of the Free State (UFS) to host Prof Michael Levitt, recipient of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, which he shares with Marti Karplus and Arieh Warshel.

The trio received the Nobel Prize for their development of multiscale models used for complex chemical systems. “Being awarded the Nobel Prize is a unique and marvellous experience that no one can prepare for or could in any way know what to except,” said Prof Levitt during his 2013 Nobel Lecture at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

First lecture in Vice-Chancellor’s lecture series

The South African-born Nobel Laureate and Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) Visiting Scholar will present the first lecture, Birth and Future of Multiscale Modelling of Macromolecules, in the Vice-Chancellors Prestige Lecture Series at the UFS on 14 November 2017. Prof Levitt is well-known for developing approaches which predict macromolecular structures.

He is one of many distinguished academics invited annually by ASSAf to deliver lectures as part of the Distinguished Visiting Scholars’ Programme, presented by ASSAf at universities across the country.

Pioneer in research of molecular dynamics

Prof Levitt is a biophysicist and a professor of Biology at Stanford University. He was one of the earliest researchers to conduct research on molecular dynamics stimulations of DNA and proteins. “My post-prize ambitions are twofold and probably inconsistent: (1) Work single-mindedly as I did in the mid-1970s on hard problems, and (2) Help today’s young scientists gain the recognition and independence which my generation enjoyed,” said Prof Levitt.

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