Tennessee State University was honored at the city’s annual Arbor Day Celebration for its dedication to help improve the environment.
Mayor Megan Barry recognized TSU and two other universities on Thursday, March 9, for being part of the Tree Campus USA program, which recognizes college and university campuses that effectively manage their campus trees, and strive to engage their student population utilizing service learning opportunities centered on campus, and community, forestry efforts.
“It shows that TSU is dedicated to helping to improve the environment in Nashville, but also beautifying the campus and recognizing the importance of trees,”
Dr. De’Etra Young, assistant professor of Urban Forestry at TSU, said after the event at Centennial Park.
Colleges and universities across the United States can be recognized as a Tree Campus USA institution by meeting five standards developed to promote healthy trees and student involvement.
TSU student Jerome Pittman, who attended the event, said he’s proud Tennessee State was recognized.
“It’s giving us a voice; a chance to impact the community in a positive way,” said Pittman, who’s majoring in agricultural business.
Also Thursday, there was a memorial tree dedication at the park that included legendary track and field coach Edward S. Temple, who died Sept. 22, 2016, at the age of 89. A tulip poplar was planted in his honor.
Coach Temple’s daughter, Edwina, provided remarks and highlighted some of her father’s accomplishments, to which, at one point, she received a standing ovation.
“He’s most proud of having 40 of his Tigerbelles chosen to be on the United States Olympic team,” she said. “And of those 40 women, all 40 graduated with one or more degrees.”
In memorializing Temple and the others – Jane Eskind, John Jay Hooker, Betty Nixon, and Matthew Walker Jr. – Mayor Barry said planting trees to remember them was fitting because “trees are the longest living organisms on the planet.”
“They were a shining example of what is possible, and what we can do as a city,” Barry said of the five. “And the trees … are a fitting tribute to their legacies of leadership.”