One week ago tonight, Founders Great Hall was comfortably occupied as retired and current faculty, staff, administrators, friends of the Arboretum, alums and current students came together for this annual event.
The setting sun cast long shadows in the Great Hall as the “cocktail hour” came to a close and we invited guests to find a seat. Arboretum Association President, Lathrop Nelson welcomed everyone and opened with a few remarks. Lathrop’s six year term as President came to a close that night. Bill Astifan, Director of the Arboretum spoke next and thanked Lathrop for his tireless work and leadership. Bill presented Lathrop with a bench that will be placed on campus. I would like to thank him in this forum for his generosity and dedication to the Arboretum. We all enjoyed a well prepared meal before settling in for the evening’s guest speaker.
Drew Becher, President of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society addressed the attendees with his personal story and his professional journey to PHS. The Philadelphia Flower Show and Plant One Million Tree campaign highlighted the many avenues in which PHS promotes horticulture and Philadelphia.
It is always a pleasure to welcome back to campus the alums and listen to their stories as they reminisce. I regret not making time to speak with each of these ‘Fords: Ted Lawrence ’42, Sam Hudson ’51, Pete Daorwart ’63, Matt Simon ’77 and Chris Chasin ’11. we were also joined by current students and Arboretum student workers: Jake Northatt ’12, Marissa Plowden ’12, Tamara Agins ’12, and Rebecca Kazinka ’12. Thanks to our student workers for assisting in decorating and making the centerpieces. It was a very enjoyable evening.