On April 24, Morris Arboretum Director of Public Programs, Robert Gutowski joined the Class of 2013 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 2013 planting ceremony marks the fifth commemoration of this new Penn tradition, where a tree is planted and dedicated on campus in honor of each Penn class.
William Hohns, W'74, who generously funds the Penn Tree Program along with his wife Kathlene, thinks that "the program is simple, both in its concept and execution; 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, Bob Lundgren, 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 the Morris Arboretum staff and the University Landscape Architect for the tree choices and placement, the Class is assured that the urban and other requirements of the Penn campus are carefully considered. Morris Arboretum works closely with the Penn Traditions program to promote the voting process and student participation.
The Class of 2013 tree planting took place in conjunction with the Final Toast. Linking the Penn Tree program to this popular Penn tradition will "maximize student engagement and help weave the Penn Tree program into the fabric of Penn student life," says Miriam Von Essen, Penn Outreach Coordinator at the Arboretum.
The Class of 2013 voted and selected a Chestnut Oak as its “Penn Tree”— while small when planted, in time this tree will mature into a stately tree that will provide beauty, shade and cleaner air for future generations of Penn students.