Commemorative tree to be planted in honor of Dr. Brown

By Farah Bassyouni Apr 22, 2022
Photo: Illinois Wesleyan University Environmental Studies Page
Photo: Illinois Wesleyan University Environmental Studies Page

On Friday, April 22 from 12:30-1:00 p.m., retiring professor Laurine Brown’s time at IWU will be commemorated by a tree planting. The environmental studies department, School of Nursing and the GREENetwork came together for the gift.

Brown will retire after 22 years at IWU. During those years, Brown acted as an associate professor of health and environmental studies and environmental studies program coordinator. 

The sugar maple tree will be planted just east of the Center for Liberal Arts in the green area at the corner of Beecher and Park. The ceremony will take place in the atrium of the Center for Natural Sciences.

This is a native tree species that’s been integrated into the campus Tree Plan. So this is a thoughtfully planted tree that will be cared for and will flourish and provide ecosystem services to the campus,” Wilson said.

“Seriously, how can one top the life-giving gifts of a tree?” Brown said.

Before Brown came to campus, she was a program director for Save the Children in Asia, a charitable organization that aims to improve the lives of children around the world.

“Through her mentorship, students in Laurine’s Global Health classes have raised thousands of dollars over the years for deserving international health charities,” Dr. Aaron Wilson said.

While at IWU, Brown pushed to make campus more sustainable, making a Commemorative Tree planted on Earth Day an appropriate token of appreciation for her work. 

“The planting of this tree acknowledges Dr. Brown’s many contributions to students, the Environmental Studies Program, and the university,” Given Harper said. 

Brown’s time at IWU has been defined by her consistent advocacy for students. 

“A great joy of mine over the past 2 decades at IWU has been working on many community-based sustainability efforts with inspiring students, faculty, and staff to bring about positive change, including greening the campus,” Brown said.

“Through teaching and patient mentoring, Dr. Brown provided students with an understanding of environmental sustainability,” Harper said. 

“In all of her endeavors at Illinois Wesleyan, Laurine has had students’ interests first and foremost in her heart. Laurine’s passion for making the world a better place, and her enthusiasm for working together to do so will, indeed, be missed,” Wilson said. The commemorative tree will be a landmark of Brown’s legacy at IWU.

“To me, the planting of this tree means a chance to see a living symbol of Laurine’s contributions on this campus every time I walk to my office,” Wilson said.

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