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12 September 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Charl Devenish
Arbor tree plant
To celebrate National Arbor Week the University of the Free State has embarked on a drive to plant 150 trees during the month of September

If you’ve wondered whether Arbor Month was important, you only have to look at the destruction and long-term damage that deforestation causes to the environment and the world’s inhabitants. To observe National Arbor Month, the University of the Free State’s has (UFS) kick-started a drive to plant 150 trees during the month of September.

To launch this initiative, the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, alongside members of the rectorate, assisted the University Estates team in planting the first 10 of 100 trees at the Bloemfontein Campus on Wednesday 4 September 2019. A total of 50 trees will be planted on the Qwaqwa Campus.

Towards a sustainable future

“We have gone through periods of drought in the Free State that have severely impacted not only the plants but the trees on our campuses. The idea is to emphasise sustainability, and as a university, we believe that sustainability is important. As an education institution, we have to look at the generations that are still to come to our campuses,” said Prof Petersen.

He urged the Kovsie community to ensure that all practices across the campuses are linked to global standards of sustainability. “As we develop over the next couple of months and years, we will get much closer alignment between what we are doing as a university and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Drought-resistant man-made forests

Clusters of mini forests across the campuses will be created with a variety of trees including the karee, white karee, white stinkwood, and wild olive. These indigenous trees can adapt well to different soils including those that are poorly drained.

Celebrating Arbor Week

This year’s campaign was held under the theme Forests and Sustainable Cities. As part of the celebration, University Estates made a commitment to the environment by embarking on the green initiative which includes other project such as the upgrade of Red Square on the Bloemfontein Campus.

News Archive

US ambassador impressed by the UFS class of 2010
2010-01-19

 Mr Donald Gips

 “Students should learn to look beyond themselves to break up the barriers that keep them apart as human beings.”

This was the message of the USA ambassador to South Africa, Mr Donald Gips (pictured), to the first-year students who had enrolled at the university for the first time, during the grand opening of the Get Success@UFS Week at the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein.

“Take the advantage of the opportunities you have here to grow outside yourselves, to prove the value of diversity and make this university a place where you will grow as an individual; and also contribute back to the community,” he said.

He said the UFS was a beautiful campus undertaking an incredible mission to change the face of South Africa.

“It is incredible and exciting to listen to the energy and to see the enthusiasm of all the students here to make this one of the best universities in the country and setting an example to the world,” he said.

On transformation at higher education institutions, Ambassador Gips said that, just like in the USA, transformation was incredibly difficult.

“It is an ongoing project that everyone has to keep working towards,” he said. “But I am quite convinced that being here today and watching the students and professors tackle this challenge, this university will succeed.”

Addressing the new students, the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, Prof. Jonathan Jansen, quoted from one of the famous speeches by the great Martin Luther King Jr. and asked the question: “What is or can be the content of your character?”

He implored the students to judge fellow students by the content of their character and not by the colour of their skins.
“If we succeed with you, our country will succeed. If we succeed with you, our university will succeed,” he said

Prof. Jansen said it was the first time in the history of the UFS that students were integrated as human beings.

“This is the most integrated group of students the UFS has ever had,” he said.
He appealed to them to live their dreams, learn to embrace others, study seriously, make a difference; and guide their leaders.

The purpose of the Get Success@UFS Week is to acquaint the first-year students with the UFS and the academic opportunities that are available to them. The aim is to:
help students succeed academically;
help students to adjust to and get involved in the university environment;
assist parents and other family members in understanding the complexity, demands and services in the University environment; and
provide an opportunity to learn more about incoming students through formal and informal means.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt@ufs.ac.za  
19 January 2010
 

 

 

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