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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

Prof Naomi Morgan knighted by French Government
2015-02-02

Prof Naomi Morgan

Prof Naomi Morgan, lecturer at the UFS Department of Afrikaans and Dutch; German and French, received the prestigious Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres award at the French Embassy in Pretoria on Monday 26 January 2015.

The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) is an Order of France, established on 2 May 1957 by the Minister of Culture, and its supplementary status to the Ordre national du Mérite was confirmed by President Charles de Gaulle in 1963. Its purpose is the recognition of significant contributions to the arts, literature, or the propagation of these fields.

Prof Morgan is being recognised for her translation work of plays such as ‘Oskar en die Pienk Tannies’, as well as translations of Afrikaans songs to French for the popular Afri-Frans compilation. The fact that the French Government gives such a highly-acclaimed award in recognition to the ‘art of translation’ is even more of an overwhelming honour to her than the personal achievement in itself.

The Chevalier (the Knighting) awarded to Prof Morgan is the third highest grade in the Order.

Prof Morgan now joins world-renowned individuals such as William Kentridge and Johnny Clegg on the list of foreign luminaries who have received this honour. Only two Literature Professors from South Africa – JM Coetzee and André P Brink – received this award in the past. During 1992, Brink received a Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and Coetzee was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

“I feel that an award like this is not only significant for me, but also to students who are busy with their studies and wondering: is there going to be recognition, what can one do with translation?” Prof Morgan said. “This is the biggest gift, the biggest gift anyone could ever give me. Now I ask for nothing more!”

For more information or enquiries contact news@ufs.ac.za .

 

 

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