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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

Students awarded bursaries for books
2011-03-09

The Interim Student Council (ISC) of the University of the Free State (UFS)

The Interim Student Council (ISC) of the University of the Free State (UFS) decided to search its own heart in order to alleviate poverty amongst its students.

Thirteen university students recently received bursaries for the purchasing of books at an event at a coffee house on campus. 
 
Ms Modieyi Motholo, ISC chairperson, indicated that she noticed during the registration period that students were struggling to purchase text books, after which she and her team graciously made money from their budget available for the bursary. “We decided at the start of our term to serve the students and to look after their needs. In this case, we noticed a need amongst students and thus reacted to that,” she said.
 
Bursary holders had to meet certain criteria, amongst which the overcoming of socio-economic circumstances. At the event they were also awarded certificates of felicitation as well as rewards for their hard work.
 
Modieyi, on behalf of the ISC, voiced their hope that future student leaders would continue with this project.

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