Chancellor Elrod (left) helps fill in dirt in tree planting ceremony. Chancellor Susan Elrod led the campus in a tree planting ceremony today to commemorate her recent installation as the sixth chancellor of Indiana University South Bend. In her installation speech she referred to the book The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohllenben and how it explained the complex interactions of trees as a community much like the university community she was entering as chancellor.She read a passage from the box to the audience of students, faculty, staff, and members of the IU South Bend Advisory Board.
But why are trees such social beings? Why do they share food with their own species and sometimes even go so far as to nourish their competitors? The reasons are the same as for human communities: there are advantages to working together. A tree is not a forest. On its own, a tree cannot establish a consistent climate. It is at the mercy of wind and weather. But together, many trees create an ecosystem that moderates extremes of heat and cold, stores a great deal of water, and generates a great deal of humidity. And in this protected environment, trees can live to be very old. To get to this point, the community must remain intact no matter what.”
Chancellor Elrod said she will work toward keeping the campus community thriving. Three Winter King Hawthorn trees were planted near existing ones which will further build their community on campus.