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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 confers honorary doctorate on one of the world’s foremost academics
2012-11-26

Prof. Martha Nussbaum
Photo: Supplied
26 November 2012

The University of the Free State (UFS) will confer three honorary doctorates at the Summer graduation ceremony on 6 December 2012. One of the world’s foremost philosophers is among those to be honoured. Prof. Martha Nussbaum, described by The New York Times as “one of the most prominent female philosophers in America”, will be honoured with a D.Litt. degree in the Faculty of Humanities. Judge F.D.J. Brand, a former Constitutional Court judge, and Prof. Otto Walter Prozesky, one of the country’s foremost medical researchers, will also receive honorary doctorates.

Prof. Nussbaum, who has honorary doctorates from 40 colleges and universities in America, Canada, Asia and Europe, is recognised for her intellectual and public contribution to human development. She is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago and an active member of the American Philosophy Association. Prof. Nussbaum is well-known and respected as a public intellectual and is considered to be one of the most prominent philosophers in the world.

Prof. Prozesky is to be honoured for the important role that he played in the field of medical research, especially as the President of the Medical Research Council and as researcher/educator in the field of virology and HIV/Aids. He is to receive an honorary degree in Medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Judge Brand, Extraordinary Professor in Private Law in the Faculty of Law at the UFS, is to receive a Doctor Legum degree in recognition of his considerable contribution to the legal science. More than 120 of his judgments are reported in South African legal reports. A review of recent South African legal journals (over the past five years) shows that reference is made to his judgments in at least 30 articles and case discussions.

The Summer graduation ceremony will be held in the Callie Human Centre on the Bloemfontein Campus and will take place in two ceremonies. At 10:15, master’s degrees and doctorates will be awarded, and at 15:15 qualifications will be awarded in a combined graduation ceremony of the Faculty of Health Sciences and the School of Open Learning.

  • Prof. Martha Nussbaum will lead a conversation with members of the public and the campus community on 7 December 2012. On 8 December 2012, she is the main speaker at the UFS’s conference on “Engaging the Other: Empathy and Breaking Transgenerational Cycles of Repetition” on the Bloemfontein Campus.

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