Between chants of "Go Big Red" and a final ceremonial song, 25 Mandela Washington Fellows celebrated the legacy of Nelson Mandela with a July 18 tree planting at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Working with Landscape Services, the fellows planted a London Planetree (Platanus x acerifolia) on the north side of the Animal Science Complex. The arbor is also called a Mandela tree, a name which honors the time the former South African president planted a London Planetree in London's St. James Park on July 10, 1996.
The East Campus planting was held in accordance with Nelson Mandela International Day, which commemorates the lifetime of service Mandela gave to Africa and the world. The annual observance is held July 18, which is Mandela's birthday. Mandela, who died Dec. 5, 2013, would have been 99.
The arbor was grown by Laurence Ballard, nursery director for Landscape Services, in the East Campus tree nursery.
Nebraska is one of 38 sites selected to host Mandela Washington Fellows. The participants are young professionals, between the ages of 25 and 35, from sub-Saharan Africa. The fellows are spending six weeks at the university, participating in civil leadership activities. Read more about the Mandela Washington Fellows in Nebraska Today.