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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

Kovsies salute its Guinness World Record Holder
2012-02-03

 

Volksblad journalist Christal-Liza Thomas interviewed Hermann van Heerden.
Photo: Amanda Tongha


He had to wait three months for the Guinness World Record office to verify his world-record attempt but it is now official. Kovsie-student Hermann van Heerden is a Guinness World Record holder.

On 01 February 2012 the B.Ed. Kovsie student proudly showed his certificate to Prof. Jonathan Jansen and others at the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS). In October 2011 Hermann, who was born with spina bifida, a developmental congenital disorder, wheeled himself into the record books by holding a stationary wheelie in his wheelchair for 10 hours and 1 second.

He achieved this record as part of celebrations marking a decade of existence for the Unit for Students with Disabilities (USD) at the UFS.

With the support of his fellow Kovsies, Hermann embarked on his record attempt on 11 October last year. He started at 03:15 and held his wheelie until 13:16.

The minimum time set for Hermann to achieve a Guinness World Record was four hours and he bettered this by six hours. During his attempt, the Kovsie student did not have any food or water and was not allowed a bathroom break.

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