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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

First Beyers Naudé lecture held at UFS' Qwaqwa Campus
2011-03-15

Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the University of the Free State (UFS), delivered the first lecture to celebrate Dr Beyers Naudé’s life and legacy in a series of public lectures at the UFS’ Qwaqwa Campus.

In his address, Prof. Jansen warned that South Africa cannot afford a genocide of which the seeds are sown by those who continue to use racist and derogatory terms against their fellow citizens.
 
“The present debate in the media that was started by Jimmy Manyi’s comments and subsequently followed by the column by Kuli Roberts in the Sunday World about what they called ‘coloureds’ in the Western Cape, is not a ‘coloured’ debate. It is a South African debate and the silence from certain quarters of our society is disturbing,” said Prof. Jansen.
 
He pointed out that all countries that had previously experienced genocide had started in the same way when “those who were in power chose to keep quiet when wrong and dangerous statements were being uttered”.
 
“This country needs courageous citizens and leaders like ‘Oom Bey’ who sacrificed all the privileges and opportunities of being an Afrikaner in apartheid South Africa. He courageously stood up against his own people by declaring apartheid as evil and un-Christian. That’s the consciousness that all Kovsie students and the entire community must strive for.
 
We want Kovsie graduates who are also graduates of life. We want Kovsie graduates who will have the conscience to question wrong-doing, irrespective of who did it, and irrespective of where wrong-doing is being done. That’s the Kovsies we will all be proud of,” Prof. Jansen concluded. 
 
The lecture was preceded by a student debate on the theme and was the first of the four in the 8th annual Beyers Naudé Memorial Lecture Series themed Conscience and courage in the struggle for justice. The second lecture will be presented by Prof. Kwandile Kondlo, who heads the UFS’ Centre for African Studies, on 28 April 2011, and the main event is scheduled for 9 September 2011.
 
 
Media Release
14 March 2011
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za
 

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