The tree was planted by City Mayor Grant Smith and IPU New Zealand Chairman Hiroshi Ohashi at the start of what will become an avenue of cherry trees on Manawaroa Street leading to the Victoria Esplanade.
"I'm delighted to mark this significant date by helping plant this cherry tree," says Mayor Grant Smith.
"The choice is particularly appropriate since the cherry tree in Japanese culture symbolises the fragility and the beauty of life. It will provide a permanent reminder to young students that they should make the most of their study opportunities."
IPU New Zealand President Wayne Edwards commented, "Cherry trees are iconic in springtime. Similarly, our campus is well loved in Palmerston North for the beautiful cherry tree lined driveway each September. It often features in publicity shots of the campus and the city. We are proud to have been a part of the city for twenty-five years. Palmerston North has provided many international students with a great home during their studies."
The cherry tree planting ceremony was part of IPU New Zealand's annual International Spring Festival, which celebrates the diversity of cultures at IPU New Zealand and in Palmerston North and allows visitors to enjoy the beautiful cherry trees blossoming on the campus.
The festival includes cultural displays and exhibitions, games and performances from different countries, and an opportunity to taste a variety of international cuisine from food stalls operated by the students.
A new gate sign celebrating the name change was unveiled following the cherry planting ceremony.