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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 staff and students clean campus together
2011-09-02

 

Kovsies are not black or white, we are green, says Prof. Jonathan Jansen, our Vice-Chancellor and Rector. Here are some of the students and staff who helped to pick up garbage on our Bloemfontein Campus.
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs

A group consisting of students, staff and members of the management team of the University of the Free State (UFS) proved that they are not only talking about sustainability and the importance of keeping the campus clean, but they actually put their words to action by taking up a garbage bag and helping to pick up garbage.

According to Ms Martie Bitzer, Head of the Sustainability Committee of the UFS, the UFS followed the lead of higher education throughout the world by joining the movement for sustainability and took the plunge in addressing sustainability issues with both short- and long-term planning. One of the short-term plans is to make staff and students aware of the importance of a “green” lifestyle. This week’s activities, including the picking up of garbage and planting a tree on the Bloemfontein Campus of the UFS, is the result thereof.

Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, who also helped to pick up garbage, told the group of staff and students that many universities around the world are implementing sustainability initiatives and are keeping their campuses clean, because they care for the environment. He thanked the group for their contribution to this process.

“By cleaning up around us, we show respect towards ourselves and towards our campus,” said Prof. Jansen.

To encourage students to keep the campus clean, Student Affairs at the UFS will launch a competition to see which residence can pick up the most garbage on 8 September 2011. A Clean Thakaneng Bridge Campaign will also be launched later on.
 

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