Ever think about trees and how they grow?
They predate dinosaurs, control air pollution and erosion, cool the air, provide inspiration, feed animals, are medicinal sources and a favorite kids' activity. Majestic, powerful, grounded, indispensable. With hundreds of tree and shrub varieties, the University of Central Missouri has a reputation as an arboretum campus. We protect, value and nurture trees. You may have heard of our most famous tree, Old Elm.
Old Elm was just a sapling when students planted it on Arbor Day 1887. The tree grew to a mighty size and even survived the fire of 1915 that nearly burned down the entire campus. Students admired Old Elm and made it part of commencement and other celebrations. So valued was Old Elm that part of it was saved and installed inside Ward Edwards when the tree was removed to create a new entryway for the building.
The symbol of Old Elm is important to the heritage of UCM. It's why we chose Old Elm as the name for our donor society recognizing cumulative years of giving. Trees like Old Elm, and groups like our Old Elm Society, grow in stature because of a strong cambium. Biologically, the cambium is the cell layer that increases the tree's diameter through growth rings. These rings tell the story of a tree's life.