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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

RC members of Armentum not expelled from residence
2009-05-29

According to a memorandum of agreement that was concluded between the University of the Free State (UFS) and the Residence Committee (RC), the Senior Bond Committee and seniors of the Armentum Residence, the parties involved agreed, among others, that the RC members of this residence would not be expelled from the residence.

This follows an incident during which a first-year student from Armentum, Alex Marais, was injured because of alleged initiation and admitted to the Bloemfontein Medi-Clinic.

According to the agreement, the RC members will resign from their positions and not make themselves available for the next RC election, with the exception of Mr M.J. Pretorius, the RC member for Rag. He will stay on as unelected member of the interim RC. The UFS undertook to pay the RC that is stepping down their honorariums honorariums in August.

The UFS also gave permission to the Residence Head of Armentum, Adv. Bradley Smith, to appoint an interim RC for the remaining period of office of the current RC.

The Senior Bond must also undertake to submit the current rules of the Senior Bond Committee to the Acting Rector, Prof. Teuns Verschoor, before 1 June 2009. The Senior Bond Committee undertakes to comply strictly with these rules, also during Senior Bond activities.

In addition the Senior Bond Committee and the current Residence Committee must submit the following information to Prof. Verschoor before the reopening of the UFS for the second semester :
- The current orientation practices with regard to first-year students.
- Proposals on how the practices can be adjusted to render them enforceable within humane, reasonable, fair and humanitarian limits in order to implement and comply with the objectives of orientation, the exercising of control and the laying down of rules.

The compensating fine that was levied against the tuition fees accounts of senior students of Armentum, which would have been used to contribute to the medical costs of Alex Marais, is now cancelled.

This settlement is final and the parties will not lay any claims against each other as a result of this incident in future.

Media Release:
Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
Email: radebemt.stg@ufs.ac.za
29 May 2009

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