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03 April 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Vhugala Nthakheni
Uhuru Qwaqwa Arrival
The #UFSWalkToUhuru team arrives at the UFS Qwaqwa Campus on Friday 22 March.

The University of the Free State (UFS) Division of Student Affairs, in collaboration with the UFS Office for International Affairs, have joined hands to drive a fundraising and student-accessibility initiative dubbed, ‘The Walk to Uhuru’ (#UFSWalktoUhuru), which is aimed at raising funds and advocating for the educational rights of the less privileged. 

The project aims to raise funds in excess of R2 million from the public and stakeholders affiliated with the UFS (Kovsie staff and students). The project derives from the 2018/2019 UFS Institutional Student Representative Council (ISRC) mandate ‘Students Must Graduate’. The ISRC mandate aims to source funding opportunities for UFS students to register, and to complete their studies across all three campuses in 2020 and beyond.

The first leg of the project, a 350 km walk from the Bloemfontein to the Qwaqwa Campus, has already taken place and concluded on Friday, 22 March 2019 as planned. The #UFSWalkToUhuru team successfully completed the first leg of their journey to academic freedom for financially disadvantaged students at the UFS. The Uhuru team is now focusing its attention on the second leg and is determined to take on Mount Kilimanjaro (Uhuru) from 20 June to 20 July 2019.

The team sat down for a debriefing session to unpack the overall experience and result of the first half of the initiative, and they all agreed that the walk to Qwaqwa was an enlightening experience. It was a walk that comprised learning opportunities, team building, and goal crushing.

According to Rethabile Motseki, member of the #UFSWalkToUhuru team, the walk to Qwaqwa made a significant impact on the project, as the university community is now aware of the significant goals that the team is trying to accomplish. The team has also resumed their fitness-training programme to ensure that they are ready to take on the Uhuru climb in June.

A media briefing will take place shortly (date to be confirmed) to detail the ongoing fundraising initiatives rolled out by the #UFSWalkToUhuru team.  We implore you, and the nation as a whole, to help establish a better future for disadvantaged UFS students by donating to the initiative.

Students, staff, and the public can support the cause and make contributions/donations to the initiative by visiting the UFS Walk to Uhuru #givengain account page.

For more information, contact UFS SRC President, Sonwabile Dwaba, on DwabaSJ@ufs.ac.za  or Rethabile Motseki on MotsekiR@ufs.ac.za  

News Archive

UFS launches history book
2007-02-02

 

Attending the launch of the UFS history book were, from the left: Prof Stef Coetzee, Prof Francois Retief, Prof Wynand Mouton, Mr Pieter Cox (Chairperson on Sasol) and Prof Frederick Fourie (Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS). Profs Coetzee, Retief and Mouton are former rectors of the UFS.
UFS launches history book
 
The University of the Free State (UFS) today launched its history book titled, From Grey to Gold, on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein.
 
“The history of the UFS is one of faith, hope, struggle and determination. The book tells a fascinating story that stretches over a 100 years. It is divided into five main phases, which tells about the growth of the UFS from a poor Free State community to a mature university. Interesting stories about student days, sport, rag and hostel activities are included in each phase,” Prof Frederick Fourie, Rector and Vice-Chancellor said during the launch of the book.
 
“One cannot know where you are going if you don’t know where you are coming from. You have a clearer idea of the issues facing an institution if you know the history. A book like this one is also an important source of reference for staff on the campus,” said Prof Fourie.
 
The first research for the book was done from 1999-2003 by Prof Leo Barnard from the Department of History and a team of researchers. They also compiled the first manuscript. 
 
During the last three years, Prof Fourie was closely involved with the writing of the final phase and finishing off the history book project. “It was an honour to be so closely involved with the story of the UFS because now I have a better understanding of the institution, its people, its culture and its way of thinking. For any rector of a university, such an understanding of its institution is a requirement,” Prof Fourie said.
 
The book is partly sponsored by Sasol. During the launch of the book, Mr Pieter Cox, Chairperson of Sasol said the company and the UFS have been partners for 57 years. “Both Sasol and the UFS are striving for excellence – Sasol for excellence in technology and the UFS for excellence in education,” said Mr Cox. 
 
“It was an easy decision when the UFS approached Sasol for financial support of the history book. Its a formidable piece of work, something Prof Fourie and the UFS can be proud of,” said Mr Cox.
 
The book consists of more than 500 pages with hundreds of photos and a wide range of supplements of office-bearers, awards and achievements (including national and sporting colours). A timeline framework, putting the history of the UFS in context with the history of the Free State, South Africa and of the world, is also included.
 
Besides the supplements, the history book also tells the story of amongst others the establishment of the UFS; the role of its founding fathers; black pioneers of transformation; the establishment and development of academic departments and faculties; student numbers; pioneers and trends in research; academic entrepreneurs; campus issues and campus politics; interesting facts and stories about student life (rag, intervarsity and cheerleaders, sport and the Springboks, hostel traditions); the admission of black students and anguish about race; language and culture; the development of the Main Campus; the Tickey and the Banana and much more.
 
Emphasis is placed on a very high level of quality. “It is not every day that the university becomes hundred years old and the institution will be measured by the quality of the book. We cannot say the UFS is a university of excellence if the book does not reflect that,” Ms Edma Pelzer, Director: Physical Resources and Special Projects said. Ms Pelzer managed the project as part of the last mentioned part of her portfolio.
 
The search for photographs was an important aspect of the book and it was a big task to find photographs and write captions. It took almost a year to translate and prepare the English edition and almost ten months to ensure the accuracy thereof, especially to correctly translate the typical Free State and UFS terminology and naturally to complete the English manuscript’s layout and proofreading. In the mean time the cover pages were designed and in September 2006 the manuscript went into the final print process. The Afrikaans title is: Van Sink tot Sandsteen tot Graniet.  
 
The cost of the book is R380 per copy. Those who already ordered the book will soon receive their copy. Orders can be placed by contacting Mr Dawid Kriel at UFS Marketing on 051 401 3409 or on the UFS web site at www.ufs.ac.za. The book is also available at Van Schaik Book Store on the Thakaneng Bridge, UFS Main Campus and at Fascination Books in Mimosa Mall, Bloemfontein.
 
Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel: (051) 401-2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
2 February 2007

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