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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

UFS-NSTF winners to make presentations
2008-07-21

Staff members of the University of the Free State (UFS) who are recent winners of two prestigious National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) awards will make presentations at the CR Swart Building on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein on 31 July 2008.

Prof Maryke Labuschagne from the Department of Plant Sciences will present a paper on “The importance of training in agriculture in Africa”. She received an award for the development of research capacity over the last ten years. She is an expert in the field of plant breeding and food security in Africa and was rewarded for her outstanding contribution to the development and training of black researchers and students.

The recipients of the other award, Prof Jan van der Westhuizen from the Department of Chemistry and Prof Kenneth Swart from FARMOVS-PAREXEL, will present a paper on “Bio-analytical chemistry”. Both are members of a team that also includes Dr Susan Bonnet from the Chemistry Department and Prof Thinus van der Merwe from FARMOVS-PAREXEL, and which received the award for innovation and outstanding contribution to science, engineering and technology by either an individual or a team over the last ten years.

The presentations will start at 11:00.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt.stg@ufs.ac.za  
21 July 2008

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