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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

UFS bids Dr Franklin Sonn farewell
2010-06-01

Attending the Chancellor's Dinner were, from the left: Judge Ian van der Merwe, Chairperson of the UFS Council; Dr Franklin Sonn, former Chancellor of the UFS; and Judge Faan Hancke, former Chairperson of the UFS Council.
Photo: Stephen Collett


The University of the Free State (UFS) bade its former Chancellor, Dr Franklin Sonn farewell during the Chancellor’s Dinner that was hosted on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein recently.

Dr Sonn held this office from 2002 and retired as Chancellor of the UFS on 31 December
2009.

“Dr Sonn lent dignity and stature to the position of Chancellor and to the UFS. Although this position is mainly ceremonial, he made deciding contributions to important decisions by the UFS and the strategic direction of the institution. We thank him for this,” Judge Ian van der Merwe, Chairperson of the UFS Council said.

In a tribute to Dr Sonn, Judge Faan Hancke, former Chairperson of the UFS Council said that he was a remarkable person. “His versatility is clear from the fact that he is currently the chairperson of seven listed companies. He is, amongst others, the patron of the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, trustee of the Desmond Tutu Freedom Trust and former South African Ambassador to the USA.”

Dr Sonn holds 12 honorary doctorates; has been nominated by the Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut (AHI) as community leader of the year for 1999; received the national award from President Thabo Mbeki known as the “National Order Counsellor of the Baobab Silver” in 2008, as well as the award “International Salute Award in Honour of Dr Martin Luther King Jnr” – “For working to Keep the Dream Alive” – in January 1996. He was the Rector of the Peninsula Technikon and is also a former President of the AHI, Chairperson of the “United States – South African Leadership Exchange” and former member of the SABC Board.

Judge Hancke said that Dr Soon lent new prestige and status to the office of Chancellor and as such showed unbelievable loyalty towards the UFS. “He was a role model for all. Our best wishes accompany him and his wife, Joan,” he said.

The UFS Council will appoint a new Chancellor on Friday, 4 June 2010.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication (acting)
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl@ufs.ac.za  
1 June 2010
 

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