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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

Dean of student affairs leaves the UFS after 29 years
2008-12-11

Prof. Teuns Verschoor (left), Acting Rector of the UFS, and Dr Luyt during his farewell function. Prof. Verschoor and Dr Luyt worked together in student affairs at the UFS for 26 years. Prof. Verschoor was Dean of Student Affairs before Dr Luyt took over the reigns from him.

Photo: Lacea Loader

 

The Dean of Student Affairs at the University of the Free State (UFS), Dr Natie Luyt, will be leaving the university after 29 years of service.

Dr Luyt decided to retire in order to spend more time with his wife, Ria, and his family. He will also be involved with his farm on a full-time basis.

“I have experienced a lot during my career and have learnt a lot from the staff and students at the UFS. There are students of exceptional quality at the university and it was a privilege to work with these young people. It was also a privilege to see the UFS grow to become the exceptional institution it is today,” Dr Luyt said during his farewell function this week.

Dr Luyt started working at the Department of Political Science of the UFS in 1980 and was appointed as Director of Student Affairs in 1997 and in 2005 as Dean of Student Affairs. During this time he was also closely involved with the Abraham Fischer Residence, where he was residence head since 1982.

Prof. Teuns Verschoor, Acting Rector of the UFS, said in his farewell message that the UFS has appreciation for Dr Luyt’s decades of service. “Dr Luyt had a meaningful life at the UFS. We have appreciation for his ability to deal with difficult cases and for his kind heart where student affairs are concerned. He will be remembered for the way in which he always knew what went on in the residences and that he always put the needs of students first,” said Prof. Verschoor.

Dr Choice Makhetha, Deputy Dean of Student Affairs at the UFS, will act as dean until the post is filled.
 

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
11 December 2008

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