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Pace Celebrates 50th Anniversary, Earth Month By Planting Copper Beech Tree

Pace University faculty and staff members gather to keep traditions alive and to dedicate a new beech tree to its 50th anniversary and Earth Month.
Pace University faculty and staff members gather to keep traditions alive and to dedicate a new beech tree to its 50th anniversary and Earth Month. Photo Credit: Contributed
Feyl and McGrath show a photo of the former beech tree which had numerous interactions with students.
Feyl and McGrath show a photo of the former beech tree which had numerous interactions with students. Photo Credit: Contributed
The beech tree is set to be the main focal point of entrance 1 in front of Marks Hall.
The beech tree is set to be the main focal point of entrance 1 in front of Marks Hall. Photo Credit: Contributed
Bill McGrath, senior vice president and chief administrative officer speaks about the tree's symbolization of the future.
Bill McGrath, senior vice president and chief administrative officer speaks about the tree's symbolization of the future. Photo Credit: Contributed
McGrath refers to the photo in his speech.
McGrath refers to the photo in his speech. Photo Credit: Contributed

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- Pace University faculty and staff members recently kept traditions alive when they gathered to dedicate a ceremony to a new beech tree that was set to be the main focal point of the Pleasantville campus entrance 1 beginning in 1962.

When Pace alumnus Wayne Marks and his wife donated their estate to Pace in 1962 so the Westchester campus of Pace could be born, one stipulation was that the copper beech remain a part of the campus. In honor of the Marks family, the 50th anniversary of Pace and Earth Month, Pace celebrated the transplanting of the newer copper beech tree on campus.

Steve Feyl, director of the Westchester Libraries of Pace University and keynote speaker at the ceremony, provided background on the importance of the beech tree.

"Wayne and Helen Marks' generous donation was the impetus the school needed to propel Pace College’s expansion plans forward," said Feyl.

"A year or so later on Sept. 16, 1963, Pace College’s Pleasantville campus opened its doors and for the next 50 years the beautiful copper beech tree stood watch and became a focal point of the campus."

According to Feyl, in the summer of 2013, on the eve of the campus' 50th, the tree succumbed to age and disease that it had suffered for many years. 

Bill McGrath, senior vice president and chief administrative officer spoke of the year-long celebration and honoring the rich history of the campus.

“The planting of this copper beech is a symbol of our intention for the future," said McGrath. "And I say intention rather than hope because we have the people and the resources to make the next 50 years even better than the last 50 years. With everyone pulling together I know we can realize our vision.”

About 15 faculty and staff gathered to dedicate the tree's new beginnings.