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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

Spring Graduation
2011-09-12

 

Our university will be awarding altogether 91 diplomas/certificates and 624 degrees during the Spring Graduation Ceremony on 14 and 15 September 2011. Of these, 23 doctorates and two honorary doctorates will also be awarded.

As with this year’s Autumn Graduation Ceremony, we will be making the ceremony more accessible to students and the public. Two appearances, in particular, can be looked forward to on this occasion: a national concert pianist in Grade 12 from Voortrekker High School in Bethlehem, Caryn Reed, and a continental debating champion and second-year student in our Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Sibusiso Tshabalala, as guest speaker.
 
All the master’s and doctoral degrees of the various faculties will once again be awarded during one ceremony on 15 September 2011.
 
Prof. Robert Frater, Emeritus Professor in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, and Emeritus Professor of Paediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Centre, New York, will be receiving an honorary doctorate in Medical Science. As a teacher and trainer, Prof. Frater has influenced many surgeons in his training role in the wards, operating room and intensive care facility. Dr Akilagpa Sawyerr, an academic from Ghana, will be receiving an honorary doctorate in Education for groundbreaking work done on the African continent. Dr Sawyerr, who is a member of our International Advisory Council, has visiting appointments at prestigious universities, such as the famous Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He also has visiting status at the Harvard Law School and the Yale Law School.
 
The full programme for the various ceremonies is:
  • Wednesday, 14 September 2011:
At 10:15, the degrees will be awarded to students of the Faculties of Humanities, Education, Law and Theology. Diplomas/certificates up until honours degrees will be awarded. This excludes the Certificate in Education, National Professional Diploma in Education and the Advanced Education Certificate.
 
At 15:15, degrees will be awarded to students in the Faculties of Economic and Management Sciences and Natural- and Agricultural Sciences and Health Sciences. Diplomas/Certificates up until honours degrees will be awarded.
  •  Thursday, 15 September 2011:
At 10:15, a total of 125 master’s and doctoral degrees plus two honorary doctorates will be awarded by all the faculties in a joint ceremony.
 
The Chancellor’s Dinner will also take place on the same day.

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