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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

UFS Centenary ends with a weekend of festivities
2005-02-04

The University of the Free State ’s (UFS) Centenary celebrations will come to an end this weekend with a packed programme.

“We celebrated this momentous milestone of the UFS since 28 January 2004 and want to end the year on a high note,” said Mr Jan Ras, Centenary Coordinator.

The weekend will start on Friday 4 February 2005 when Prof Frederick Fourie, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, will open the UFS officially. This will be followed by an historic photo of all staff and students who are on campus that day. All staff will be wearing their academic gowns and the Centenary emblem will be depicted.

The annual Kovsie Engen Rag, with We thank you South Africa as theme, will take place on Saturday 5 February 2005 . The procession will start at 08:00 from the UFS Kovsie church and will move down Nelson Mandela Drive and right into Markgraaff Street exit until it reaches St Andrew’s Street. From here it will turn right into Kings Way where it will stop at the Art Market at 10:00 . Prof Frederick Fourie will then propose a toast on the procession. Afterwards the groups and orchestras will step out and the floats will move through the center of town around Hoffman Square and then back to the UFS campus.

According to Mr Ras a reunion for the Student Representative Council (SRC) will also take place this weekend. About 100 former SRC members are expected to attend the planned activities.

The weekend will be concluded on Sunday 6 February 2005 with a special service of devotion, hosted by all the interdenominational groups on the campus. The service starts at 18:00 for 18:30 in front of the Main Building of the UFS and will be a celebration of praise, thanks and worship, followed by a message from Dr Wollie Grobler. The evening will be concluded with a mass choir and a fireworks display.

“Members of the public are welcome to attend the service of devotion and are requested to bring a candle for the purpose of the mass choir. Although chairs will be arranged in front of the Main Building , people are requested to bring extra pillows and blankets to sit on,” said Mr Ras.

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