There’s been a new addition to Eastern’s campus, and it is one of special importance: As many students have noticed, a tree was recently planted not far from the bronze Eastern Eagle that sits outside Walton Hall.
A vast majority of the student population had absolutely no idea why this tree was there, what purpose it served or what it was meant to represent
According to Jeannine Leaman, the tree was planted to represent the new Office of Faith and Practice, which was formerly called the Christian Life Office. Leaman now serves as a part-time secretary for this office.
“The office is called The Office of Faith and Practice and is meant to better align itself with Eastern’s message,” Joe Modica said.
The new office consists of Andy Horvath, director of Christian formation; Theresa Noye, chapel worship team advisor; Joe Modica, university chaplain; and Leaman.
The tree is a Japanese Maple. It was planted to represent the creation of the new office and is symbolic of the work that it yields. The original idea was initiated by Modica and Meggin Capers, Director of Conferences.
“The original price for the tree was over $2,400 but, due to the hard work and relationship he had built with the owner of the nursery, Heaf (Grounds Manager Hayford Irvin), was able to purchase the tree for $1,800,” Capers said.
“To me, the tree represents the growth we all go through, whether it is spiritually, academically or the life lessons we learn,” Capers said. “I have always loved the symbolism of a tree because, unlike a simple flower, we don’t just grow in one direction.
“We grow in all different ways, all at the same time, like the branches of a tree. I would like to think that the students will see that tree as an example of their growth.”
The tree was dedicated during Homecoming weekend in a ceremony presided over by President David Black and other prominent members of the administration.