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Penn Tree Program Commemorating 2012 Graduates

April 24, 2012, Volume 58, No. 31

On April 25, Morris Arboretum Executive Director Paul Meyer will join the Class of 2012 at Penn's College Green to plant a tree and dedicate it as part of the Penn Tree program, a program linking Penn students to their own Morris Arboretum. The Class of 2012 planting ceremony marks the third commemoration of this new Penn tradition, where a tree is planted and dedicated on campus in honor of each Penn class.

Bill Hohns, W'74, who sponsors the Penn Tree Program, thinks that "the program is simple, both in its concept and execution; without significant staff cost to the University or Arboretum; and through the placement of distinctive trees over time, can dramatically influence the appearance of the campus while building pride for each class."

Every year, the Arboretum, in consultation with the University Landscape Architect, provides students with a selection of three specimen trees. These are voted on by the Class and their favorite becomes their Penn Tree. By engaging the expertise of Morris Arboretum staff for the tree choices, the Class is assured that the urban and other requirements of the Penn campus are carefully considered. Morris Arboretum also works closely with the Penn Traditions program to facilitate the voting process and encourage student participation.

Miriam Von Essen, Penn Outreach Coordinator at the Arboretum, said "partnering with Penn Traditions has allowed us to bring this program to the next level." The Class of 2012 tree planting will take place in conjunction with The Final Toast and Hey Day. Linking this new campus tradition with these other long-standing Penn traditions will "maximize student engagement and help ingrain the Penn Tree Program into the fabric of Penn student life," said Ms. Von Essen.

The Class of 2012 voted and selected a Yellowwood—a unique tree with early summer white, fragrant flowers and striking fall foliage—as their "Penn Tree."

Almanac - April 24, 2012, Volume 58, No. 31