Graduating international students mark their legacy in International Grove

2018 international graduates plant their saplings in the International Grove, adding to the inaugural oaks planted by 2017 international graduates.  

The newest international alumni gathered with family, faculty and staff to plant their oak saplings in the International Grove on South Campus. Established in 2017, the International Grove allows students unable to take their saplings back to their home countries to plant their oaks and mark their legacy on Elon’s campus.

François Masuka, director of international student and faculty scholar services, shared a few words on the beloved acorn and sapling traditions and their symbolism of growth and success. “Let the sky be the limit, wherever you go, whatever you do,” said Masuka. He also charged the university’s newest alumni to stay connected with their alma mater. “We pray you come back to see the mark you have made,” said Masuka.

Several 2017 international graduates returned to see the mark they have made by joining this year’s tree planting ceremony, including June Shuler, who currently resides in Switzerland.For Shuler, flying 4,000 miles to celebrate with the class of 2018 was never even a hesitation.

“It’s important to come back for those people that have become family,” June said of the international student community. “It’s the lifelong friendships you make at Elon … That’s what ties you to this place.”​