Auburn Oaks Descendants Available for Naming

Published: September 02, 2015
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Redevelopment of Samford Park began last fall as Auburn University prepared for the dedication of the new Auburn Oaks during A-Day weekend and continued through the summer to ready the park for the next chapter in the Auburn Oaks story.

A new 14-foot-wide arching brick walkway now reaching from Toomer’s Corner to Samford Hall marks the initial stage of Phase II of the Samford Park redevelopment project. As part of this effort, 21 descendants of the original Auburn Oaks will line the new walkway. Individuals, families, companies, and foundations can name one of these trees for themselves or someone of their choosing in recognition of a $50,000 philanthropic gift to Auburn. These gifts will go into an endowed fund for excellence benefitting the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, which has nurtured these Auburn Oaks descendants since collecting the acorns.

Dr. Scott Enebak, a faculty member in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, initiated a program in 2001 to ensure the Auburn Oaks’ legacy endures for generations to come. Under his leadership, Forestry Club and Wildlife Society members cultivated acorns from the original trees and sold more than 3,600 “Baby Auburn Oaks” to alumni and friends around the country. News in 2011 of the lethal poisoning of the original Auburn Oaks exhausted all but a select supply of these trees, which had been reserved for the Samford Park project.

These Auburn Oaks at Samford Park, which now stand between 15 and 20 feet tall, will be planted in February 2016 and dedicated during A-Day weekend. An engraved brass plaque placed near the base of each tree and commemorating the generosity behind each naming gift will bear the name or names of the donor’s choosing.

Because of the anticipated interest in these naming opportunities, the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences will randomly select 21 donors from among those who register online by 4:45 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. Those donors randomly selected will be notified of their selection the week of September 22.

Those interested can learn more about this naming opportunity, selection process, and pledge commitment, as well as register online, at www.auburn.edu/samfordoaks, or contact the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Development Office at 334.844.2791 or sfwsdevelopment@auburn.edu.