Centre News

“Regeneration” sculpture to be dedicated April 4

March 28, 2013 By Elizabeth Trollinger       

An historic Beech tree taken down last year that once stood outside Young Hall has been given new life as “Regeneration,” a beautiful, six-foot-tall sculpture created by local artist Russ Barragan. Now, the Centre community has the opportunity to come together and dedicate the artwork.

A dedication ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 4 around the sculpture, located in Young Hall next to the grand staircase, near Young 113. Barragan will speak at the ceremony, along with Biology Professor Anne Lubbers, who helped lead the charge to preserve the tree when it became clear that its demise was imminent.

The beech tree had likely been on campus since Centre was founded in 1819, and had come to be known by some as “The Lady.” Many students grew accustomed to walking past the tree every day, going to and from classes and residential halls. Some even left their mark on its bark, carving in their initials and even some professions of love.

A combination of factors, including its old age, and extreme weather conditions such as the ice storm of 2009, led to it being taken down. From a single piece of its trunk, Barragan created a sculpture evoking new life.

For Lubbers—and many others whose Centre experience includes many memories of the old Beech—the sculpture is much more than a piece of art.

“It symbolizes the history of the College, in a sense,” Lubbers says. “I’m hoping the sculpture will become a symbol of the College in the future—that you can always make good things out of an unfortunate circumstance, and that there will be people who get pleasure in other ways from looking at this sculpture. It has a new life, as something different.”

Those who attend the dedication will also have the opportunity to donate to the fund for the sculpture, which continues to receive gifts.

Have comments, suggestions, or story ideas? E-mail elizabeth.trollinger@centre.edu with your feedback.

Centre College, founded in 1819, is a nationally ranked liberal arts college in Danville, Ky. Centre hosted its second Vice Presidential Debate on 10.11.12, and remains the smallest college in the smallest town ever to host a general election debate. For more, click here.

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