Alumni Event and Planting UniversiTREE

Tree planting on the 100th anniversary of Wageningen University and Research

Wageningen University and Research (WUR) leading university in QS World University Ranking/Agriculture and Forestry celebrated its 100th anniversary by planting so-called UniversiTREES at its partner universities. Trees planted worldwide create a forest of UniversiTREES that symbolically represents the international connections of WUR.

At WUR’s request, SZIU was selecting from among trees indigenous to Hungary and have long lifespan. At last, a service tree sapling (Sorbus domestica) was chosen to be planted near the giant pear tree, the silver medalist in the European "Tree of the Year" contest, in Gödöllő Botanic Garden.

The Hungarian Forestry Association chose Sorbus domestica, also known as service tree or sorb tree, as the Tree of the Year 2013.  This protected deciduous tree species grows to 15 metres at a medium rate with a trunk up to 1 metre in diameter, and is native to central and southern Europe. It occurs in the southern woodlands of mountainous regions. Picked straight off the tree, its pear-shaped fruits are highly astringent and gritty; however, when left to over-ripen they sweeten and become pleasant to eat. In Hungary, a special distilled spirit (palinka) is still made from its fruits.

Wageningen, sister city of Gödöllő, sent a 3-member delegation to UniversiTREE and Alumni Event led by Mr. Geert van Rumund, Mayor of Wageningen. Wageningen University and Research was represented by Ms. Denise Spiekerman  Alumni Coordinator. His Excellency René van Hell, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Hungary, also paid a visit to the tree planting event.

Mr. Geert van Rumund brought a special variety of Dutch tulip bulbs named “Liberty” for the occasion. Prof. Dr. László Palkovics, Rector of SZIU, H.E. René van Hell, Mr. Geert van Rumund, Dr. György Gémesi, Mayor of Gödöllő and Ms. Denise Spiekerman planted the bulbs together under the UniversiTREE.

Rector Prof. Dr. László Palkovics, Mayor Geert van Rumund, Mayor Dr. György Gémesi and His Excellency René van Hell delivered short addresses to the audience present in the Botanic Garden, Gödöllő.

The program continued with an alumni meeting in the Rector's Ceremony Hall of SZIU. First, Vice-Rector Prof. Dr. Livia Simon-Sarkadi presented the results of SZIU's internationalization, then Ms. Denise Spiekerman introduced the international alumni network of Wageningen University and Research. Following the presentations, Prof. Dr. István Szabó, Mr. Ádám Ragoncza, Mr. Krisztián Kovács and Mr. György Kapás WUR alumni shared their memories about living and learning in Wageningen. Finally, Ms. Luong Wendy, Ms. Nienke van Velzen and Ms. Bertha Babet Waterink three Wageningen students currently studying at the SZIU greeted the audience.

The event ended with a reception at the invitation of Mayor Dr. György Gémesi.

Video on the event:

Article on WUR homepage: