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Founder's Day

Founders Day | Tree Planting

"Too old to plant trees for my own gratification, I shall do it for my posterity."
-Thomas Jefferson

In 1970, the University instituted an annual tradition of planting a tree to honor an individual who has made significant and lasting contributions to the design, planning, and maintenance of the Grounds. Planted at a public ceremony presided over by the University President on Founder's Day, the tree is to serve as a living memorial celebrating the individual's legacy.

The task of selecting the Founder's Day tree honoree, tree species, and location of the ceremony is given to the Arboretum and Landscape Committee, who forwards their recommendation to the President's Office. This year's honoree is John C. Jeffries Jr., Senior Vice President for University Advancement and the David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law.  

Due to ongoing efforts to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus and limitations on events and travel, this year’s ceremony has been postponed. The new date of the ceremony will be announced later this year. 

For the complete list of officially designated memorial trees on Grounds, please click here.


Last updated: April 2, 2020