Hillsdale College Plants Liberty Tree, Hosts Dedication

The College planted the gifted tree as part of its first CCA of the academic year

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Hillsdale, Mich. — Hillsdale College hosted a dedication ceremony for the planting of a liberty tree on campus on Sept. 21. The tree is a direct bud-grafted descendant of the 600-year-old historic Liberty Tree from Maryland. It was gifted by The Providence Forum in recognition of Hillsdale College’s commitment to civil and religious liberty.

“This tree will be a reminder to future Hillsdale College students, faculty and staff, as well as visitors to our campus for many generations,” said College Provost Christopher VanOrman.

Peter Lillback, president of Westminster Theological Seminary and author of “George Washington’s Sacred Fire,” offered remarks, along with Jeffrey VanZant, Hillsdale College biology professor and director of Slayton Arboretum. College students and employees as well as community members and CCA attendants took part in the ceremony.

Liberty Trees date back to colonial America when Patriots designated large trees as meeting places. These trees became political symbols and highly revered in America. Over time, most Liberty Trees were destroyed or died, but one remained in Annapolis, Maryland.

The Sons of Liberty of Maryland read the Declaration of Independence in 1776 under the Liberty Tree now planted on campus between Lane Hall and Delp Hall.

“It is inspirational to have the descendent of such a storied tree on campus and to think what might happen under it as it grows,” said VanZant.

Find photos here.

About Hillsdale College

Hillsdale College is an independent liberal arts college located in southern Michigan. Founded in 1844, the College has built a national reputation through its classical liberal arts core curriculum and its principled refusal to accept federal or state taxpayer subsidies, even indirectly in the form of student grants or loans. It also conducts an outreach effort promoting civil and religious liberty, including a free monthly speech digest, Imprimis, with a circulation of more than 5.7 million. For more information, visit hillsdale.edu.

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