Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Previous Archive
25 April 2024 | Story ANTHONY MTHEMBU | Photo Stephen Collet
His Excellency Dr Reuben E Brigety II
His Excellency Dr Reuben E Brigety II presenting his guest lecture at the Centenary Complex.

The University of the Free State (UFS) recently had the honour of hosting a thought-provoking guest lecture delivered by His Excellency Dr Reuben E Brigety II, the United States Ambassador to South Africa. Held on 23 April 2024 at the Centenary Complex, on the UFS Bloemfontein campus, the lecture delved into the vital role of higher education in fostering and safeguarding democracies.

Describing the occasion as a pivotal moment for the institution, Prof Francis Petersen, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the UFS, articulated, "Having the United States Ambassador to South Africa visit our institution and deliver this guest lecture presents an invaluable opportunity. It allows us to gain unique insights into the parallel dynamics and challenges facing our sister democracies, particularly as both our countries approach significant electoral periods.”

Dr Brigety, in his address, underscored the significance of higher education in the context of Freedom Day, celebrated in South Africa on 27 April 2024. He emphasised the role universities play in advancing democratic values, drawing upon the UFS motto, “In truth is the light of wisdom” to elucidate this connection. Highlighting the inspirational figure of the late Charlotte Maxeke, a prominent social and political activist, Dr Brigety noted her pivotal role in both South African and American contexts.

Maxeke, a graduate of Wilberforce University, and her husband Marshall Maxeke, founded the Wilberforce Community College upon returning to South Africa. Dr Brigety underscored the significance of Maxeke’s commitment to civil liberties and education, along with her enduring ties to the Wilberforce University network, in shaping subsequent generations of activists and leaders.

Moreover, Dr Brigety stressed the importance of collaborative efforts between South African and American universities amidst today’s complex global challenges. He advocated for initiatives such as collaborative research projects, joint academic programmes, and student exchanges, citing their role not only in knowledge creation but also in fostering mutual understanding and strengthening bilateral relations.

In concluding his address, Dr Brigety urged the audience to emulate the examples set by individuals like Charlotte Maxeke and Prof Jonathan Jansen, the former Rector and Vice-Chancellor of UFS. He encouraged them to champion the cultivation of the next generation of leaders, thinkers, and change-makers. 

News Archive

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.