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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

Miss World 2014 is a Kovsie
2014-12-14

Photo: Netwerk 24

The management, staff and students of the University of the Free State (UFS) are delighted with the naming of Rolene Strauss, third-year MB ChB student in the School of Medicine, as Miss World 2014.

Rolene was crowned as Miss World 2014 in London, United Kingdom, earlier this evening. The last time a South African was crowned Miss World was in 1974, when Anneline Kriel walked away with the title. Before her, Penny Coelen was crowned Miss World in 1958.

“Rolene represents the best of South Africa - a deep commitment to education and a profound compassion for human beings. Since the first day I met her as a new first-year medical student, I was aware of somebody special, a young woman from a rural area who carried herself with so much grace and confidence. She is truly without prejudice towards any human being and this has made her one of my allies in building the Human Project of the University of the Free State,” says Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS.

“I was not at all surprised that she chose as her beauty-with-a-purpose project the task of keeping young girls in school; this is who she is, and if you observe her dedication to her medical studies, you see someone for whom studies and service are not the add-on obligations of the Ms World Pageant; it is who she is in real life,” he says.

“Rolene has proven herself to be a dedicated, hard-working and enthusiastic young woman. These are qualities which will make her an equally exceptional Miss World,” says Prof Gert van Zyl, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences.

According to Prof Van Zyl, Rolene interrupted her medical studies when she competed in the Miss South Africa pageant. “We are extremely proud of Rolene and will definitely welcome her back after her year as Miss World. She is an inspiration to us all,” he says.

According to Mosa Leteane, President of the UFS Student Representative Council (SRC), the entire student community is elated about Rolene’s crowning. “We know that she will continue to do great on her new journey. Her passion for people and kind spirit are some of the many beautiful traits that continue to make her an exemplary fellow Kovsie. We would like to congratulate her and wish all the best. She has really made us extremely proud,” says Leteane.

 

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