More than 5 000 newcomer students, accompanied by their parents, were welcomed by Stellenbosch University (SU) during the official welcoming event held at Danie Craven Stadium on Thursday, 24 January 2019.
The important event on the University's annual calendar consisted of fun, music, a formal welcoming, a human display of the number 2019 at the Danie Craven Stadium and a street march by students and parents to the iconic Victoria Street on campus.
During the formal welcoming Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor said that newcomers were now part of a university where dreams are nurtured, new dreams are born, and where students have the opportunity to realise their dreams.
“You are now part of a new community – the Matie community. Within this overarching community, you are in residence or a PSO group and through these in a cluster. This is a purposeful design to ensure each one of you will be in a social network to enable you to learn collaboratively, live in diverse groups and be exposed to a range of voices."
He further encouraged students to be active partners and take charge of their life while at university. “You will be challenged, like never before – academically speaking, but also in other ways. You are going to be confronted with new ways of thinking and doing, a diversity of people and ideas and that's how it's supposed to be. The university is the best place to examine life and come to new insights together with others."
Ms Carli van Wyk, Student Representative Council (SRC) Chairperson at SU, also welcomed newcomers during the formal event. She encouraged students to be brave, to dream big and step outside their comfort zones. “Don't wait for the opportunity to arise, create the opportunity and take the opportunity. Stellenbosch University is the platform to not only be a graduate but to be a global citizen. You have numerous opportunities to excel and to take up the mandate to be the solution. Ignite you dreams, your potential. Ignite your destiny. Stellenbosch University welcomes you!"
After the formal welcoming, the new Maties walked from the stadium to Victoria Street as part of a Dream Launch that symbolised the start of their journey at SU to realise their dreams. The students each received a card on which they could write their dreams for themselves.
The cards were placed at various points on route to Victoria Street, where, for the next few days, these will be on display on trees wrapped in various colours, so anyone that goes down Victoria Street will pass by the dreams of all the newcomers.
Newcomer students can find more information on the University's website, www.sun.ac.za, which contains all the necessary information on the full week's welcoming programme, information on the registration schedule, transport, personal safety, the library and free writing advice.
Photos by Stefan Els.