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21 May 2019 | Story Thabo Kessah | Photo Ian van Straaten
Dr Thandi Gumede
Dr Thandi Gumede graduated with a PhD in Polymer Science. She is from Intabazwe, Harrismith.

The Qwaqwa Campus of the University of the Free State was a hive of activity on 17 and 18 May 2019, when over 800 degrees, diplomas, and certificates were conferred on deserving achievers. These included six PhDs and 14 master’s degrees across the four faculties.

Congratulating the graduates on both days, was Africa’s youngest PhD and Industrial Psychology lecturer, Dr Musawenkosi Saurombe, and Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor.

Be like heat

Dr Saurombe started her address by relating her school journey that saw her starting Grade 1 at age 5, thus later matriculating at the age of 15, having skipped Grades 3 and 10. She went on to emphasise the importance of building an honourable character.

“As a graduate, you will soon realise that your degree is useless if you do not have character,” she said to an attentive audience that continued to marvel at her remarkable school history. She encouraged graduates to be like heat that cannot be seen but can only be felt. “Noise can often be seen and heard, but it cannot be felt. However, while heat cannot always be seen, it is always felt. Be like heat and may your presence always be felt,” she said.

Do not focus on yourself

Prof Francis Petersen also encouraged graduates to look beyond their degrees by developing a set of critical values.
 
“For us as the university, this ceremony is not just about your degrees. It is about the values that you must live by,” he said. “As a graduate of the UFS, do not just believe what you are told. Ask questions and engage critically. Secondly, do not just focus on yourself. Remember that you are part of a community and it is your responsibility to make our world a better place for others. You need to be socially responsive to the needs of your community. Thirdly, remember that integrity plays a very important role. This will determine how others value you,” he said.

The two ceremonies also saw three current SRC members graduating. They are Lebohang Miya (BEd FET – Accounting and Business Studies), Duduzile Mhlongo (BA – Geography and isiZulu), and Mhlongo Sinemfundo (BA – Geography and isiZulu).

News Archive

Council approves appointment of two deans
2008-06-14

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) approved the extension of the contract of Prof. Herman van Schalkwyk, Dean: Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences for a further five years during its recent meeting. The appointment of Prof. Francois Tolmie as acting Dean of the Faculty of Theology was also approved.

Prof. Tolmie will be acting as Dean as from 1 July 2008 and will be appointed as dean on 1 January 2009 for a term of five years. He is appointed in the place of Prof. Hermie van Zyl who will be retiring at the end of June 2008.

The Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences has reached many highlights under Prof. Van Schalkwyk’s leadership. It has grown to an influential faculty, known for its world-class academic quality and research and the successful preparation of students for their careers in the sciences.

Before his appointment as dean, Prof. Van Schalkwyk was chairperson of the Department of Agricultural Economics at the UFS. He serves on the executive committee of the UFS’s Executive Management and is chairperson of the Deans Committee. Over and above his work at the UFS, he is involved in various provincial and national organisations.

He was among others appointed by the Minister of Agriculture in 2007 as member of the National Agricultural Marketing Council and in 2008 he was appointed vice-chairperson of the Land Bank Council. He is also a consultant to the World Bank and other South African organisations, a specialist in agricultural and related court cases and popular speaker at agricultural societies in South Africa and Namibia, to name a few.

Prof. Tolmie was a Senior Professor in the Department New Testament at the UFS. He is member of various national and international organisations and academic committees, among others editor of Acta Theologica, the faculty’s accredited journal.

During his term as Dean, Prof. Tolmie aims to establish meaningful liaison with international universities, increase the faculty’s average research output and increase the current number of academics from the faculty who are graded by the National Research Foundation (NRF).

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
13 June 2008

 Prof. Francois Tolmie
 
 Prof. Herman van Schalkwyk

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