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Acer planted at Treborth to mark success of new graduates

The School of Natural Sciences has commemorated the success of 2020-21 final year students by planting a red Acer tree in the Chinese Garden at Treborth Botanic Garden.

Five graduates representing the undergraduate and postgraduate cohorts unveiled a commemorative plaque made from locally sourced wood at the planting ceremony.

Head of School, Professor Nia Whiteley, said, "The event gave the University the opportunity to thank our students for coping with all the changes and adaptations that have been necessary because of the pandemic.

"We wanted to acknowledge the fact that students have had to adapt to blended learning - interacting with lecturers, peers, colleagues and supervisors in the virtual world rather than in person. Sacrifices have been made and students and researchers have had to adapt to social distancing, perspex screens and missed opportunities such as overseas field trips.

"Highly infectious diseases and the measures put in place to prevent their spread are by their very nature anti-social. Although we have provided several in-person activities in a Covid-safe environment, we know that many students will have suffered from isolation. Despite these social deprivations, our students have been simply amazing. We have been so impressed by their resilience, their fortitude and ability to keep going and achieve success.

“The deep red Acer is a tribute to the perseverance and success of the class of 2021 and is a symbol of fortitude that will be here for many years to come in a prominent position in the Chinese Garden in Treborth.”

BSc Zoology with Animal Behaviour graduate Sophie Davies, said, "It means a lot that the University has done this, and made every effort to make the experience as good as it could be over the last year. It's a unique event for a unique year."

Dr Richard Dallison added, "For a lot of postgrads across the School it's been challenging to do lab work and field work and carry on with projects as planned. So, it's nice to have the tree here as recognition of the challenges people have had to overcome.”       

In addition to the tree, the School is organising a digital yearbook for the Class of 2020-21, that will include photos and favourite memories.

Pictured from left to right are: Natalie Chivers, Dr Richard Dallison, Sophie Davies, Professor Nia Whiteley, Dr Graham Bird, Dr Daniel Chaplin, Catherine Pearson, Professor George Turner, Dr Lorrie Murphy, Laura Bischoff

Publication date: 11 August 2021

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