Wednesday, 10 May 2017

A short walk through the TUKS Campus - my Alma Mater

My youngest daughter is a 3rd year drama student at the University of Pretoria. Last weekend she had a dance exam and invited me to come and have a look. Long before she was born I was also a student at TUKS, as the University of Pretoria is usually called.

After the dance performance I walked back to my car and took a few snaps of the campus as I was trying to find my car...I got a bit lost and made use of the opportunity to explore the campus with my camera.....

After the army I spend a few years at TUKS, studying towards a degree in accountancy. ( Alas, after working as an auditing article clerk for a year I came to the realization that accountancy was not for me and changed over to photography, which I still enjoy to this day).

Walking through the campus brought back many beautiful memories...My wife and I shared many classes studying for our B Comm degrees, although she ended up with a M Comm in Industrial Psychology! We also met all our lifelong best friends here and still reminisce among about all the wonderful memories we hcreated during our student days.

In my day there were approximately 22 000 students compared to over 50 000 today!


I was quite impressed at how well the beautiful campus gardens were maintained and it is in fact much more comprehensive than I remember. The are also many many more buildings and the campus has gobbled up the old Catholic church & monastery complex that used to be adjacent to the campus. Its a much bigger place than when I attended!

If you look closely at the image below you will notice a bleached Coke bottle on a ledge in the center of the circular window assembly...I wonder how the blazes it got put on that ledge!...the sort of thing students excel at!


There are also many art sculptures scattered around the campus and the large students center and shops were absent in my day. Some of the architectural design is rather questionable IMO but together with the extensive landscaping it presents quite a tranquil and beautiful environment...although I can imagine that on a normal lecture day it must be very busy...

The building above and below is called 'GW', an abbreviation for Geesteswetenskappe - Afr. or in English, the Humanities Building. Originally the building was build over Roper street so that the traffic could still use it but I see that the cavity at street level has been filled with a glass structure that now houses the Student Service Center.

Above: View of the Library complex.

The Merenski library -above - is a fine example of the Art Deco style. In my day it used to be the Art Department.




I really enjoyed seeing the eclectic mix of architectural styles of the well maintained buildings scattered seemingly haphazardly across the campus as opposed to the uniform and rather boring architecture of the other mega university in Pretoria, UNISA

It is now the middle of autumn and winter is around the corner yet the gardens and lawns are still beautiful and green with a few fallen yellow leaves providing some accent and a promise of the cold weather that lies ahead...

Almost all the universities in South Africa are embroiled in the #feesmustfall protests and TUKS was not spared. I trust that the powers that be and the students can resolve their differences so that the campuses can get back to normal. The protest usually only happen towards the end of the year, close to exam time, when I suppose the tiny minority of student activists feel they have the most potential leverage, but it does wreak havoc with the emotions and already high stress levels of the majority of the students that are studying or are busy with the exams.

But all the drama of what we as a country are experiencing now did seem far away when I walked through the peaceful gardens and structures on a quiet autumn Saturday afternoon...  

Technical info:

All images were made with my little Canon EOS M3 mirrorless camera and the 22mm F2 EF-M lens, which is equivalent to a 35mm full frame lens's field of view. I used Adobe Lightroom and Nik Viveza to process the images adding a bit of contrasts, saturation and clarity. Aperture was mostly F5.6 and shutter speeds were determined automatically.

Perhaps I will get permission to make some more images in the future because I was quite impressed with the TUKS campus as a whole and saw many architectural and landscape photographic possibilities...



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