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Tree Walk as Living Tribute

When this year’s senior gift committee began evaluating ideas for its fund-raising efforts, the winning choice seemed to rustle in the leaves overhead: the Tree Walk in honor of Professor Evan T. Williams. A beloved member of the campus community, Williams, founder of the College’s environmental studies program, died May 24. In tribute to his life and work, seniors raised more than $1,800 for the Tree Walk, a significant increase over class gifts from previous years. John Bates, chair of the Board of Trustees, and his wife, Susan, matched gifts made by seniors between April 30 and May 31.

The Tree Walk itself is not new. In 1990, two Lewis & Clark students wrote A Natural History Guide to the Lewis & Clark College Campus for the campus community and its visitors. At that time, the walk featured 48 species of trees. The goal of the current project is to repair and reconstitute the Tree Walk while enhancing its educational and aesthetic value.

“Evan Williams gave so much to the College, his students, and the community,” says Clara Elias ’04, an environmental studies major who began the Tree Walk project with Williams and headed the senior gift committee. “His leadership and passion for the Tree Walk inspired us to revitalize it so that future generations can enjoy the natural beauty of species native to the Pacific Northwest.”

In addition to the senior gift, the College has received generous donations for the project from Walker Macy, Bon Appétit, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and friends. Over $16,000 has been raised for the portion of the Tree Walk honoring Williams. To contribute to the project, visit this page.

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