Sesquicentennial Tree Planting Pays Homage to Morehouse and Eight Other HBCUs Founded in 1867

Date Released: October 31, 2017


A Black Tupelo, or gum, tree will majestically grow on Morehouse College’s Century Campus as a symbol of strength and resiliency, as well as part of a 150-year legacy of excellence shared by nine other historically black colleges and universities.

The tree was planted Monday, Oct. 30 during Morehouse’s HBCU-9 Sesquicentennial Tree Planting Ceremony.  Placed next to Danforth Chapel, just across from the space where men of Morehouse become Morehouse Men each graduation day, the tree is the same type planted by the other institutions that were founded in 1867 – Alabama State University, Barber Scotia College, Fayetteville State University, Johnson C. Smith University, Howard University, Morgan State University, St. Augustine’s University and Talladega College.

“This tree planting is just another celebration of all nine, member institutions who took part in this on all member campuses and today marks Morehouse’s celebration,” said Ardis Blanchard, director of Stewardship and Donor Relations.  “We’re doing this as a symbol of unity and collaboration.  In a few weeks, we will receive a plaque from the Arbor Day Foundation.”

The tree, donated by Trees Atlanta, was planted Monday by Interim President Harold L. Martin Jr. ’02, Morehouse Student Government Association President Cameron Rollins and a number of other members of Morehouse’s HBCU-9 Planning Committee.

HBCU-9 member institutions met a few weeks ago in Baltimore, Maryland to celebrate, discuss and help chart the future of HBCUs, as well as bring attention to the relevancy and importance of historically black colleges and universities.

“Together, we inspired a universal conversation on the critical role of HBCUs and the importance of our ongoing transformation to educate students of the future,” Martin said.

“We are reminded of Morehouse’s, as well as the other eight colleges and universities, invaluable contributions, not only to higher education, but to this nation,” he said. “With our collective observance, we hope to focus the nation’s attention sharply and effectively on the invaluable contributions of historically black colleges and universities.”


Morehouse College Student Government Association President Cameron Rollins said the tree symbolized the growth of Morehouse College.

“It needed nourishment, it needed love, and it needed support,” Rollins said. “That’s the same as this tree will need. We plant trees not necessarily for us, but for the generations that will come after us.  May this tree grow strong and serve as a testament of the institution, of the faculty and staff that we will work hard to make sure it lasts long and, most importantly, it shows what the students will produce.”

Last Modified: October 31, 2017, 12:10 PM, by: Synera Shelton

< Previous | Next >