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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

Meet our Council: Loraine Roux – a proud Kovsie ambassador
2016-07-01

“I strive to represent the alumni
actively as an interest group,
and to help build the university
through sound business principles.”

Loraine Roux (née Kriek), former President of the Student Representative Council, was elected to the Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) in 2012. This former Kovsie made her mark at the UFS. Many staff members and former students will remember her as the beautiful brainbox, who achieved success in so many different areas of student life and humanity.

Loraine’s studies


Her journey as a Kovsie started as finalist in the prestigious Matriculant of the Year competition. Later, she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Consumer Science at the UFS. Loraine, a born leader, was also Prime of Soetdoring residence, and remains the only student in the history of the university to be chosen as SRC President, Rag Queen, and Dux student in the same year.

After university

The Kriek family are all stalwart former Kovsies, with three generations – Loraine, her late grandfather Johan Kriek, and godparents, Rhyno and Mariette Kriek – having served on the Student Representative Council. So, it is no surprise that a leading firm like Deloitte & Touche noticed Loraine’s unique talent and leadership skills, and snatched her up for their CEO Bootcamp immediately after university.

Serving on the UFS Council


Currently, she is part of the team that is extending Deloitte & Touche’s ethical and fraud prevention services across Africa and Europe. She also uses her expertise and experience in risk management, ethical practice, and good corporate governance for her role as UFS councillor. As part of her duties as Alumni representative in the Council, she serves on the Naming Committee, as well as on the Audit and Risk Committee.

“It is a great privilege for me to serve on the Council, but it is also a great responsibility,” she says. “I strive to represent the alumni actively as an interest group, and to help build the university through sound business principles.”

Loraine married Gabriel Roux in 2014, and the couple live in Stellenbosch.

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