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Welcoming a new generation of first-year students 

The University of Pretoria’s annual Welcoming Day took place on 16 January 2010. This event gave first-year students and their parents the opportunity to interact with staff and fellow students. It also provided the new Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Cheryl de la Rey, with an opportunity to personally welcome the new generation of students and their parents to the University of Pretoria. 

On the Hatfield Campus, students and their parents could undertake a tour of the campus that will be the home of students of this campus for the duration of their studies. Residence students were welcomed to their respective residences, while exhibitions provided information on various matters that were of importance to first-year students. Representatives of the different churches serving the student community were available in front of the Aula to answer questions. Banks, bookshops, pharmacies and gymnasiums in Hatfield and the immediate vicinity exhibited their services. The Student Representative Council (SRC), Tuks Rag, Perdeby, Tuks FM, Student Culture and the various faculty and day houses held exhibitions in the piazza at the Student Centre to promote their activities. Similar events were held on the University’s other campuses at Groenkloof (Education), Onderstepoort (Veterinary Science), Prinshof (Health Sciences) and Mamelodi.  

Alumni tree-planting tradition

The tradition that starts with the registration of a first-year student in an undergraduate programme does not end with graduation, but continues as these graduates become proud, loyal and active alumni of the University of Pretoria. This tradition is symbolised by the annual tree-planting ceremony of TuksAlumni, where a first-year student in BCom (Accounting Sciences) and resident of Magrietjie, Ms
Nkamogeleng Mahlaela (representing the Class of 2010), planted a common rothmannia (Rothmannia capensis), the tree of the year for 2010. Two more trees were planted by Prof Cheryl de la Rey and Mr Rikus Immink, chairperson of the TuksAlumni Board, respectively. 

This year marked the tenth anniversary of this tradition, which originated in 2001. Trees planted in the vicinity of the Drama Building since 2001 include the river bush willow, cheesewood, red currant, mountain seringa, baobab, wild pomegranate, common wild currant, badder-nut and tree fuchsia. Past students who took part in this ceremony as new first-year students were the late Rizqa Carriem (2001), Christa-Louié van Heerden (2002), Ingeborg Steinmann (2003), Tshepo Moila (2004), Dewald de Beer (2005), Atli Phatudi (2006), Jaco Jordaan (2007), Molatelo Thebe (2008) and Tarryn Thomas (2009).   

Ms Nkamogeleng Mahlaela planted a common rothmannia on 16 January 2010.
Ten-year celebration: The Principal (middle) and other UP staff members with some alumni who took part in the tree-planting ceremony as first-year students over the past 10 years.