The Oaks at LSU
The roughly 1,200 oak trees on LSU's campus are as much a part of the university as are its students, faculty, staff and historic buildings. These towering beauties are so integral to the campus experience, in fact, that LSU's alma mater begins, "Where stately oaks and broad magnolias shade inspiring halls / There stands our dear Old Alma Mater who to us recalls ..."
Steele Burden, LSU's landscaper from 1932 through 1970, planted many of LSU's live oak trees, which have been valued at $50 million. Burden's careful planting was done with the future in mind, a legacy continued by those who endow his majestic work.
Endow an Oak Program
The Endow an Oak program was introduced in 1993 to ameliorate the poor health of many of LSU's oaks, for which declining care was an unfortunate consequence of budget limitations. Since its introduction, Endow an Oak has successfully garnered critical funds to support the care and maintenance of LSU's most treasured natural "residents." LSU also provides funding, but the needs far exceed these funds as the oak trees mature and as more trees are planted.
Many of LSU's majestic trees show signs of splitting or other decline. Gifts to the Endow an Oak program funnel resources that can be used immediately to address pressing needs with the at-risk trees.
Gifts of any amount may be made to support the general care and maintenance of LSU's oaks. Specific trees can be endowed for the gift amounts indicated below. Fifty percent of each gift builds the oak endowment, and the other half is placed into an operation account that can be used immediately by LSU's arbor management team. Only income earned, not principal funds, is spent from the oak endowment.
All of the Parade Ground oaks have been endowed, but there are hundreds of opportunities still available to endow oaks campus-wide. Donors can also endow other types of campus trees through this program. Each endowed oak is marked by a customized, permanent bronze plaque installed near the base of the tree. A gift may be named for a donor or in memory or in honor of someone.
Occasionally, endowed trees need to be removed for such reasons as disease, lightning damage, vandalism, campus renovation and public safety. In these instances, the LSU Foundation will work with the donor(s) to identify another LSU oak through which the donor's generosity to the Endow an Oak program can be acknowledged.
For information about the locations of available trees, please contact Biyaka Williams, executive development associate, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (225) 578-3811.
Quad Oaks $50,000 each ($25,000 to the endowment, $25,000 to the operation account.)
Campus Oaks $4,000 each ($2,000 to the endowment, $2,000 to the operation account.) Trees are available campus-wide.
Make a Gift
Online or by check, made payable to the LSU Foundation (notation: Oak Endowment) and mailed to Endow an Oak, LSU Foundation, 3796 Nicholson Dr. / Baton Rouge, LA 70802.
|Some of our generous Endow an Oak donors are highlighted in each of the stories featured below, republished from our biannual magazine, Cornerstone.
Winter and Spring 2015
An endowed oak is John Staples's most recent, and permanent, LSU connection.
Endowing a Legacy
Summer and Fall 2014
Millie Guichard touched countless lives. Her legacy will continue through an oak former students endowed.
Winter 2013 and Spring 2014
Violet Blakewood Lux began her LSU legacy in 1942. Now, her
son, Bond, is ensuring that legacy lives on through an endowed oak.