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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

The Great Pool of Exhilaration
2015-02-11

Photo: Albert van Biljon 

 

Boys’ roars and ladies’ shouts could be heard from miles away. From this, one could tell that the 2015 first-year’s Swimming Gala was bound to be an exciting one.

While RC Sports members were stressing, the first-years blissfully continued in song and excitement.

One would think that, after a hectic first week of classes, first-years would not have much energy left, but the atmosphere proved that Residence Committees (RCs) had prepared the individuals with rather motivating pep talks before the event. Most male residences put their best foot forward, not holding back on themed attire and additional instruments, while female residences sang and danced to the music provided. Not only were the masses competing to claim that they had the greatest spirit on this night, but they were also waiting to hear the results of the Spirit Cup for the first-years’ Athletics, which was cut short due to heavy rain showers. This simply added to the already intense anticipation of first-years and RC Sports members, as they would receive the results only at the end of the event.

The competition was tough as many of the first-years who competed moved with ease in the water as though it was second nature to them. This year’s gala saw quite a few talented, national swimmers competing, which left those who swam for pride and points intimidated. The excitement of the crowd was heightened as the relay section of the programme approached. This meant that the winners were to be announced soon.

In the ladies’ section, the residences were placed:
• 1st – Marjolein
• 2nd – Wag-‘n-Bietjie
• 3rd – Sonnedou

In the men’s section, the residences were placed:
• 1st – Armentum
• 2nd – Vishuis
• 3rd – Karee

When the time arrived for the announcement of the Spirit Cup winners, many were hopefully clenching their hearts for their name to be roared out. In most people’s opinion, it came as no surprise when Armentum walked away with the Spirit Cup for both the first-years’ Athletics and the Swimming Gala. Furthermore, Armentum’s broader South College community – of which Emily Hobhouse, Marjolein, NJ vd Merwe and Villa Bravado are also part – walked away with the cash prize for the best mascot.

By end of the night, everyone, no matter if they were drenched or dry, experienced the exciting sporting atmosphere at Kovsies that they’ve now become a part of.

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