Video by Karla Sanchez-Garcia, Amanda Buehler, and Patrick Willard.
A month after two willow oak trees were removed from the lawn at McEwen Hall, members of the campus community are still coming to terms with their loss.
Since the Queens campus moved from downtown to the Myers Park neighborhood in 1913, the oaks have formed a part of the history of both the campus and the Myers Park neighborhood.
‘Big, beautiful trees’
“We are still missing the trees everyday – as it has changed the front landscape of that part of campus,” said Adelaide Davis, associate vice president of alumni relations and planned giving. “Ever since I have been at Queens in the last years I have noticed we always take really good care of the trees, making sure the tree companies come out and trim them and watch them, because they know the dangers of old trees.”
Davis knows the trees’ history well. She graduated from Queens in 1961 with a degree in English, and has seen them grow for the past 33 years. She was sad to see the trees be taken down.
Another staff member at Queens, Bonnie Stoffel, senior executive assistant to the provost, believes a poem by Jane Merchant reflects feelings of the campus community.
Where long the old tree stood,
Rest for our eyes, are stacks
Of oak wood split for burning.
The mind accepts the ax;
But like a bird swift-homing
To its accustomed place
Sight, dispossessed, still hovers
Aghast on empty space.