While four tangible objects will be unveiled during the Alumni and Friends Weekend to launch The University of Western Australia's 2013 Centenary celebrations, a literary creation - a poem - will also make its debut.
Along with a Centenary sundial, music CD, history book and plant, Emeritus Professor Dennis Haskell's poem "The Elusiveness of Wisdom" will have its first audience on the weekend.
An award-winning and well-known poet who recently retired from UWA after 25 years' teaching, Professor Haskell was asked to write a poem to commemorate 100 years since the University's first students were enrolled.
Professor Haskell - a carpenter's son - said poetry is a craft and that the Greek word from which ‘poet' is derived means ‘maker' or ‘creator'.
"Poetry is the oldest, the original literary genre. It concentrates language and experience and is used to mark special occasions in people's lives," he said.
"Without being sentimental, I hope I relayed that what makes this University so valuable is the lively human side of it. And that what the University consists of (as well as staff and students) are community engagement, the way people use the campus, its location, grounds, buildings and of course the importance of Indigenous people."
Professor Haskell will read "The Elusiveness of Wisdom" at the Alumni and Friends Weekend Writers' Corner and at the Faculty of Arts' afternoon tea.
The title refers to the University's motto, "Seek Wisdom" and the poem refers to the Noongar people who lived for thousands of years where the campus is now, and forward to the students of the next 100 years.
"Here is a place where apprehensions of thought, of ideas and imagination really matter, a community that is the wider community's best part," Professor Haskell writes.
People wanting to attend the Writers' Corner must register for the Alumni and Friends Weekend.
Winthrop Professor Dennis Haskell (English and Cultural Studies) (+61 8) 6488 2071
Virginia Rowland (Senior Project Officer, UWA Centenary Celebrations) (+61 8) 6488 4214
Michael Sinclair-Jones (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 00 700 783