Tree planting in university marks club’s milestone Rotary Club of Cape Girardeau has supported the students with scholarships and has reached out to local community with projects over the past 100 years.

College faculty and Rotarians at the tree planting ceremony.
College faculty and Rotarians at the tree planting ceremony.

Southeast Missouri State University celebrated the 100th anniversary of Rotary in Cape Girardeau (Missouri, US – RID 6060) and the service of all University Rotarians during the past century with a tree planting April 5 on the front lawn of Academic Hall.

A black gum tree was planted and a decorative stone and plaque next to it were unveiled marking the partnership the University and Rotary have shared for 100 years.

The tree, which will produce Redhawk-red fall foliage, commemorates 100 years of dedicated and selfless service to Rotary by the University’s faculty, staff, administration and alumni.

“We are extremely appreciative of the Cape Girardeau Rotary Club and the Cape West Rotary Club for their gift of this tree that not only marks this milestone but also forever symbolises the impact of Rotary on this community and Southeast Missouri State,” said Dr Carlos Vargas, President of Southeast Missouri State University.

To celebrate their 100-year anniversary, the Rotary club planted 100 trees in the past year honouring their founder, Paul Harris, and the Rotary’s positive impact in local communities around the world.

The tree at Southeast is the 101st Friendship Tree to be planted by the Rotary club, said US District Court Judge Stephen N Limbaugh Jr, co-chair of the Cape Girardeau Rotary Centennial Celebration.

“What perfect place it is to have the 101st tree here in front of Academic Hall and by the American flag to commemorate the services of more than 50 Rotarians who have also been University faculty and administrators over the course of 100 years,” he said.

“From that number, seven Rotarians were also university presidents, including Dr Vargas. Five more of those university faculty and administrators were district governors. And so our idea was to plant the 101st tree right here. It is going to be a beautiful tree as it grows up — a magnificent tree — and hopefully it’ll last another 100 years.”

The University appreciates the Rotary’s dedication to the campus community, Vargas said.

“For many years, Rotary has supported our students with scholarships that have helped so many achieve their college dreams. Their dedication to education in Cape Girardeau is truly a hallmark of Rotary, and my hope is that this partnership will continue to blossom with scholarship support into the future,” Vargas said.

“We also look forward to the launch in the near future of a student Rotaract Club on our campus, offering our students the opportunity to exchange ideas with community leaders and develop their leadership skills through service. Southeast Missouri State University appreciates Rotary’s longstanding commitment our institution.”

Source: Southeast Missouri

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