A very special tree will one day spread its limbs over the IUP campus. IUP alumnus Dr. Daniel Kupas has donated an American elm tree grown from a cutting from the Oklahoma City Survivor Tree.
The mother tree is an 80-year-old elm that survived the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murah Federal Building, which killed 168 people. Authorities wanted to chop it down to recover evidence that was hanging from its branches, and it was thought to have sustained too much damage to survive. But a year after the bombing, the tree began to bloom again. Today, it’s surrounded by a deck with an inscription that reads “The spirit of this city and this nation will not be defeated; our deeply rooted faith sustains us.” Every year on the April 19th anniversary of the bombing, saplings from the tree are distributed around the world to keep its legacy alive.
Dr. Kupas, a family practitioner in Apollo, received his cutting several years ago at a fundraiser for the Flight 93 Memorial Fund.
There are 1,320 trees on the IUP campus, all part of the Allegheny Arboretum, which was dedicated in 2005 as “a living museum established for the growing and effective display of trees, shrubs, and vines.” The concept for the arboretum was developed in January 2000 by then-IUP President Lawrence Pettit.