Commencement Traditions: Oak Tree Saplings

Katie Nash
May 18, 2012

Oak saplings at Commencement

Commencement at Elon in 1991 marked the first time tree saplings were handed out to graduates. Furman Moseley (Class of 1956) was the Commencement speaker that year, and gave graduates California Redwood saplings. President Fred Young (1973-1999) decided to carry on this tradition at the 1992 Commencement by giving each graduate an oak sapling. According to the Elon Traditions web site, “Upon graduation, each graduate is given a Shumard oak sapling to celebrate the growth they have experienced throughout their time at Elon as well as the growth they’ll encounter as lifelong learners. ” This tradition is continued today, and may your oak sapling thrive!

Read more here about the tradition at Elon.


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