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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

Beyers Naudé challenge still stands – Dr Allan Boesak
2011-09-14

 

Dineo Babili, a first-year Foundation-phase Education student, reading out her winning essay during the final Beyers Naudé Memorial Lecture held last Friday. Dineo and Siphesihle Mavundla (poetry) both won R3 000,00 each from Kagiso Trust.
Photo: Thabo Kessah

The eighth Annual Beyers Naudé Memorial Lecture Series reached its climax with the third and last lecture being presented by Dr Allan Boesak at our Qwaqwa Campus on Friday, 9 September 2011. The first two lectures were presented by our Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof. Jonathan Jansen, and Prof. Kwandiwe Kondlo who heads our Centre for Africa Studies, respectively.

In his address, Dr Boesak posed hard-hitting questions, such as ‘'What kind of society do we want to be? At what price are we willing to sell the noble history of the struggle, the ideals and hopes of our people, the meaning of the freedom we sacrificed for?'’ He spoke fondly of his former friend and colleague who had appealed to the government of the day in 1973 to understand that the future security of our country did not lie with a consensus of white opinion, but rather ‘'a consensus of white and black opinion'’.

Dr Boesak said that Oom Bey had asked white people ‘to speak and act before it was too late’ and that he appealed to black people to prepare for the day on which they would be truly free.

‘'That was his hope. When he died, democracy had come, but this hope had not been realised and today we are in serious danger of losing it altogether. We have the matchless Freedom Charter; we have a most progressive Constitution; we have an impressive body of laws and we have enviable policy positions. However, the challenge from Beyers Naudé still stands and it comes to a new generation: it is time to transform words into deeds. The time for pious talk is over,'’ said Dr Boesak.

The lecture was well received by students and staff, as well as leaders and representatives from various sectors in the community. Learners and educators from a number of schools in the region also attended. Next year’s series will be hosted on the South Campus in Bloemfontein.
 

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