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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

Memorial service for Ms Winkie Direko
2012-02-21

 
Ms Winkie Direko was a loved and respected Chancellor.

 

The senior leadership, staff and students of the University of the Free (UFS) are saddened by the death of Ms Winkie Direko on Friday 17 February 2012.

Ms Direko, who was Chancellor of the university from July 1999 to February 2003, was the first black person and also the first woman to hold this position.

“Ms Direko was a much-loved person in the Free State as well as a loved and respected Chancellor of the UFS. Her continued involvement with the university was always appreciated by the university community. We honour her memory and her directional leadership as former Chancellor,” says Judge Ian van der Merwe, Chairperson of the UFS Council.

Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, says Ms Direko was one of South Africa's greatest teacher-leaders and one of the few former teachers he could really look up to. “Rest well, Ma Winkie; you left us a great example,” he said.

A memorial service will be held on:

  • Thursday 23 February 2012
  • at 14:00

A bus will leave the Centenary Complex at 13:00 for the service that will take place at the indoor sport centre in the Seisa Ramabodu Stadium in Rocklands.

Please RSVP to Tharina Naudé not later than Wednesday 22 February at 12:00 at x3829 or naudehc@ufs.ac.za.

It will be appreciated if you could wear your university branded clothes (shirt or blazer) to the service.


Media Release
21 February 2012
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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