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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

New violinist for Odeion String Quartet
2013-02-06

Samson Diamond
06 February 2013



The Odeion String Quartet has a new member, a young accomplished violinist with a string of awards to his name. Samson Diamond, who won the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Music in 2010, has joined the quartet. He is the first male member the quartet has had for about five years. The Soweto-born violinist replaced Denise Sutton, former leader and first violinist. He will lead the quartet, a flagship of the university and the only resident string quartet at a South African university. The other three members are Sharon de Kock (violin), Jeanne-Louise Moolman (viola) and Anmari van der Westhuizen (cello).

Twenty-eight year old Diamond, a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK, says he is looking forward to working with students from the Odeion School of Music. “I am sure there are many talented students here.”

The musician, who obtained both his Bachelor of Music Honours degree and his Masters of Music Performance degree with distinction, will be based in Bloemfontein on a full time basis. As a member of the quartet, he will be giving concerts, coaching chamber music for the various chamber ensembles and will also give individual lessons to some of the violin students at the School.

Diamond, who started playing the violin at age ten, boast a long list of achievements. At age 12, he was leader of the Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble, one of the country's prominent youth projects. He was a founding member of the jazz classical band Quattro Fusion and former leader of the Diamond quartet. He has performed before many distinguished guests, including Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh and former presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki.

Diamond says being the first male member in years will not bring about a change in the quartet He says it is about the standard of playing and the calibre of music.

“Music is music whether you work with men or women.”

Diamond’s first performance as member of the quartet will be on 21 February 2013. Details about the performance will be communicated later.

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