Every piece of the PC campus holds a memory for our students and our alumni. Whether it’s the steps of Neville Hall or the Bailey Memorial Stadium, everywhere we walk on campus holds a story in our hearts. That is why it is with great sadness that we announce that the large willow oak tree in Fraternity Court poses a safety risk for students and must be taken down.
PC has done everything in its power to keep the tree on campus, from securing the tree with metal brackets to wrapping the tree with large straps. After hiring two independent arborist companies to complete a tree risk assessment of all the trees on PC’s campus, it was determined that the tree next to the Theta Chi house in Fraternity Court must come down.
Arborguard and Arbortech both surveyed the tree and came to the conclusion that the tree posed an immediate safety risk. The arborists reported dangerous splitting and decay of the tree. Because of these concerns, coupled with large overhanging limbs, the arborists have called for immediate action from PC.
Understanding the tradition and memories surrounding this tree, PC Campus Services and Campus Life have worked with Theta Chi alumni to communicate the reasons behind the removal of the tree and to consider ways to memorialize it. According to Theta Chi Alumni Adviser Ellis Mills who sent the initial communication to Theta Chi, “Every comment [from students and alumni] so far has been very positive, appreciative of the communication, but sad to see the tree go. We understand that PC has done everything possible to save the tree.”
Joy Smith, Vice President for Campus Life and Dean of Students, agrees with Mills. “We created supporting structures for the tree as long as we could, but the safety of our students and others requires removal of the tree now. We will work with Theta Chi students and alums to re-develop the area after the large tree has been removed so that outdoor spaces at Fraternity Court continue to provide for the recreational and social needs of PC students and a great place of PC connection for alums.”
All parts of campus are important to PC, our students and our alumni, and because of this we will work together to preserve the memory of the tree at Fraternity Court.