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LSUA to Celebrate Arbor Day with Live Oaks Dedication Ceremony

Released: 01/10/2007

On Friday, Jan. 19, LSU Alexandria will commemorate Louisiana Arbor Day with a brief ceremony to dedicate and name two live oaks in honor of two men who were influential in the growth and success of LSUA, Dr. Martin Woodin and William Cotton, Sr.

The dedication will take place at 11 a.m. in the Oakland Plantation Oak Grove (along Middleton Drive).

Among the list of speakers is Frank Thibodeaux, owner of Bob’s Tree Preservation in Church Point, who provides tree preservation services for the campus. Thibodeaux will also give away seedlings from the two oaks to those who attend. Representatives from the U.S. Forest Service and other community leaders will be in attendance.

Woodin served as LSUA’s first dean (now chancellor) from 1960 to 1962. During his tenure, Woodin laid crucial foundations for the progression and success of the university. His support of LSUA continued into his presidency of the LSU System and into his retirement.

In the late 1950s, Cotton was instrumental in persuading the governor and others that it was time to create a public higher education institution in this area. Throughout his life, Cotton remained supportive of LSUA by establishing a scholarship in his name as well as offering generous financial support. During 2000 and 2001, when he was over 100 years of age, Cotton traveled to Baton Rouge to speak to Legislative committees in support of a bill to establish LSUA as a baccalaureate degree granting institution.

On June 1, 2006, former Alexandria mayor Ned Randolph signed a proclamation naming the month of June “William Cotton Sr. and Martin Woodin Month.”

The Woodin and Cotton Oaks have recently been registered with the Live Oak Society. The oaks are similar in size. The circumference of each tree is about 14 feet, and the spread of each tree is about 100 feet.

The ceremony is part of the university’s plan to preserve its existing trees. The largest oaks on the campus were originally part of Oakland Plantation and are estimated to date back 250 years.

The Woodin and Cotton Oaks are the third and fourth live oaks that LSUA has dedicated to individuals who have positively impacted the university. In 2005, LSUA named one of the oldest and largest oaks, “The Mulder Oak,” for LSUA Foundation charter board members Howard and Eloise Mulder of Lecompte. Last year, the university dedicated a 130-year-old live oak in honor of Roy and Vinita Martin, longtime friends and supporters of LSUA. The Mulder Oak and the Martin Oak are also registered with the Live Oak Society.

Arbor Day is LSUA’s primary tree planting date on campus each year. This year, nearly 50 trees will be planted on university grounds.

For more information, contact Kay Casey, director of institutional advancement, at 473-6472.