Committee decides on Old Oak distribution

Katie Paysinger
News editor

More than a year after the Old Oak last stood in the Oak Grove, decisions are finally being made as to what to do with the wood.
A committee was formed to decide what would happen to the wood from the fallen tree. As announced last week in an e-mail from President Thomas Hellie, it has decided to make an arch that students will walk through during graduation commencement.
The arch will not be ready in time for this year’s graduating class, Hellie said. It is still deciding whether the arch will be a permanent structure or brought out each year for the commencement ceremony.
Most of Linfield’s current students are not affected by the disappearance of the famous tree.
“The people most affected are the alums,” Hellie said. “Some of them have even been married under it.”
Brad Sinn, director of facility and auxiliary services, has played a key role in determining what will happen to the wood from the Old Oak. He was part of the group that stripped down the tree.
“Revealing some of the history of the tree was very moving,” Sinn said. “It added depth to the tree. It was almost archeological in nature.”
The group found various items in the tree dating back to the settling of the area, Sinn said. These include cement used to fill rotting areas of the barks and old nails.
Remaining bark is being considered to be made into lecterns or furniture pieces for campus, Hellie said. Pieces of the tree may be given to those associated with the college.

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