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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 Dean scoops prestigious award for analysis of book of Malachi
2017-05-15

Description: Prof Fanie Snyman book Tags: Prof Fanie Snyman book

Willem Louw, Chairperson of the UFS Council;
Dr Khotso Mokhele , Chancellor of the UFS,
Eleanor van der Westhuizen, from the Directorate
of Research Development; Prof Francis Petersen,
UFS Vice-Chancellor and Rector; Prof Fanie Snyman,
Dean of the Faculty of Theology; and
Prof Corli Witthuhn, Vice-Rector: Research.
Photo: Johan Roux

The most sought-after award at the UFS, the annual Book Prize for Distinguished Scholarship, was recently won by Prof Fanie Snyman, Dean of the Faculty of Theology and Religion. His book, Malachi, which is about the last book of the Old Testament, has received acknowledgement through this award. He is the third academic to be awarded this prize. The book was published in English by Peeters Publishers in Belgium as part of the ”Historical Commentary on the Old Testament” series with a view to an international audience, and can be used by theology scholars and academics.

Labour of love over many years
Prof Snyman has a long history with the Bible book of Malachi. Since his student years, this book in the so-called ‘Minor Prophets’ of the Old Testament had a special charm for him. In fact, Prof Snyman has produced several publications on this concise book of 55 verses over the years. Furthermore, his doctoral thesis, as well as several papers delivered at congresses, also had this book as the theme. It took Prof Snyman about a decade to write the book.

What lies ahead for him in the future? “I am closing the book Malachi for the time being,” says Prof Snyman. “However, my research on the ‘Minor Prophets’ will continue. As a result of Malachi, InterVarsity Press in Cambridge contacted me for the writing of a book in another international commentary series, this time on the books Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah.” Prof Snyman will use his prize money of R75 000 towards this goal.

Book prize a surprise
“I can sincerely say that I did not expect the award at all. I did not know which other excellent research was submitted and thought that research from another discipline might do better. Therefore, I was completely surprised when my book was announced as the winner, and it left me speechless at the moment!” says a modest Prof Snyman.

He adds: “I am sincerely grateful for this award, but I must also thank the university. I would like to express my appreciation for the academic milieu, financial support, as well as overseas travel opportunities that have enabled me to complete the book and achieve this award.”
 
Book review by international expert
Prof Rainer Kessler, a world-renowned expert on the Bible book of Malachi, said in a review of Malachi: “The commentary on Malachi in the renowned Historical Commentary on the Old Testament series is the fruit of decades of studies on the book. [It] is full of respect towards the text. [Prof] Snyman is very cautious in his judgements and decisions. He rather presents different possibilities than uttering one-sided positions. [Finally, he] treats others always in a very fair manner. He presents their opinions as objectively as possible, especially when he does not agree. This commentary is a new and very useful tool for the study on the often underestimated last book of the Old Testament prophets.”

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