USC Aiken Plants Trees in Honor of Class of 2018
Aiken, SC (01/14/2019) — The University of South Carolina Aiken honored its December graduates by planting two Little Gem Magnolia trees in the heart of campus.
The trees first made their campus debut on the dais during the annual commencement ceremony, but just days after graduation the master gardeners at USC Aiken found a permanent home for the Little Gems. They're now located adjacent to the brand new walk-way that connects a popular student parking lot to the quad area.
"This is a lasting tribute to the Class of 2018," said Ahmed Samaha, interim vice chancellor for student life and services.
"Students will be able to enjoy the blossoms later in the year and recall their fellow Pacers who helped make a lifetime of memories while on campus,"
Southern Living dubbed the magnolia an "essential Southern Plant," according to the magazine's website.
"The Little Gem variety offers all the classic features of the traditional magnolia, including fragrant flowers and glossy green leaves with chestnut brown undersides," said Jeff Gattis, USC Aiken's lead landscaper.
"They're more ornamental and will only get to about 20 feet tall. The flowers are much hardier than other varieties. These trees will add a beautiful pop of color on campus when they bloom."
The university started planted trees in honor of its graduates three semesters ago. The Arbor Day Foundation recognized USC Aiken as a Tree Campus USA in the spring of 2018.