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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 unveils Women’s Memorial Garden
2011-08-12

 

The Women’s Memorial Garden, between the Main and Chemistry building, seen from the top.
Photo: Siegwalt Küsel

Our university rewarded the hard work of women at the university by unveiling a Women’s Memorial Garden at our Bloemfontein Campus on National Women’s Day, 9 August 2011. University Staff, students, some members of our Council and other guests gathered at the university for the unveiling of the new memorial garden.

Prof. Driekie Hay, Vice-Rector: Academic, told the somewhat 50 people at the unveiling that it was a historic day for the UFS, as this was a sign of how far the university have come. Prof. Hay told the women at the function to be proud of their achievements. She said the purpose of Women’s Day was to celebrate the historic struggle and sacrifices of all South African women, especially those who fought against racism and sexism.

The Women’s Memorial Garden consists of a botanical garden with more than 80 plant species. In the middle of the garden is a stone statue with a wild fig tree planted within. Prof. Hay told the guests that the tree’s numerous seeds represent unity and is an indication of real understanding, knowledge and faith, characteristics women at our university should pursue to ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for the UFS. The University leadership will now embark on a process to identify and recognise women from the university community who have made significant contributions during its 107 years of existence.

The memorial garden was designed by Habitat Landscape Architects. Mr Siegwalt Küsel, an architect at the firm, said the garden was developed to be a living monument to women. He said they hope that the garden will become an active learning space for visitors.

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