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Aug. 25, 2012
Northwest Missouri State University freshmen on Saturday commemorated the roots they are planting at the campus with the dedication of a white spruce tree planted in their honor.
With a steady rain falling outside, the fourth annual tree-planting ceremony was moved indoors to the J.W. Jones Student Union. But the rain added significance to the ceremony, Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski noted as he related the new tree’s growth to the growth Northwest students will experience at the University.
“You’re putting down roots,” Jasinski said. “Think about planting trees and what happens with them – growth, nurturing, pruning, cutting back and then growing again.”
In honor of this year’s freshman class, Northwest planted a Picea glauca, which is better known as a white spruce. The tree, known for its resiliency and drought resistance, is capable of growing more than 50 feet tall and living up to 200 years. Its wood is commonly used in building construction and musical instruments.
The tree is located east of the Memorial Bell Tower, near Wells Hall and adjacent to University Drive.
Northwest Student Senate President Riley Ziemer, on behalf of the freshmen class, accepted a small identification plaque that is placed at each tree on the Northwest campus. Maryville Mayor Glenn Jonagan also addressed the students, boasting of his pride as a Bearcat alumnus himself and the bond Northwest has with the Maryville community.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, a small group of students braved the rain and tied green ribbons to the tree, as is the tradition at the end of each year’s ceremony.
“We’d like you to be able to walk past this tree, not just during your freshman year or your sophomore year or your junior or senior years, but as you come back for your master’s program, or as you come back as so many of our alumni do five, 10, 20 years down the road,” Jasinski said. “Look at its growth and think about how you’ve grown over that period of time.”Designated the Missouri state arboretum, Northwest is home to more than 1,300 trees and more than 300 species that have helped the campus earn a reputation as one of the most beautiful university campuses in the country.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468