VSU trees historically registered

According to the Valdosta Daily Times, three South Georgia trees have been honored. The historic Live Oak Society of the Louisiana Garden Club Federation, founded in 1934, has granted registration to three historic trees located on the campus of Valdosta State University.

Official certificates were recently received by the Lowndes County Historical Society, which had orchestrated the nominations, according to Society representatives.

Donald O. Davis, executive director of the Lowndes County Historical Museum, said two community events took place this year which triggered the simultaneous applications for registration.

Public attention was brought earlier this year to the Steele North Campus of VSU during a mini-reunion of graduates and attendees of Emory Junior College at Valdosta. Emory University closed its Valdosta site in 1953 after operating since 1928. The property and buildings were deeded to what was then Valdosta State College.

Several live oak trees had been planted nearby when the original building, now designated as Pound Hall, was erected. During a campus tour, Davis told attendees the two trees which appeared to qualify for registration in the Live Oak Society and recommended naming them appropriately to reflect their ties to Emory University.

Meanwhile, back on the VSU main campus, a mile south, the well-known “Graduation Tree” (also a live oak) was in the news when a spring commencement graduate spoke about its origins and a sentimental connection to her grandmother, who had attended VSU when it was South Georgia State Normal College, according to Society representatives.

The tree had been planted in 1914. Davis said accurate measurements are necessary but there is no cost involved in Live Oak Society registration. He said a number of live oaks in the region are registered, including the Lowndes High School “Viking Oak,” even though it was destroyed by lightning. Davis received help from Dr. Fred Ware, VSU emeritus professor of management and Emory MBA graduate.

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