The tree that stood tall in front of Olmsted Administration Hall was a magnet for generations of students. They studied in its shade, took selfies in its branches, took graduation pictures in front of it, and some students even came back after graduation to have their wedding photos taken next to it. The tree was one of the most photogenic areas on campus because of its beautiful scenery, looming branches, and curvature of the tree. It was a nice and quiet place to go and have some personal time. “The tree was a great place to go hang out with friends especially during early fall when it starts getting warm outside,” said Preston Leinenbach, a former UE student. “When you are by the tree, it feels like you are in your own little world.”
The Linden tree was part of the UE culture. It served as a symbol of unity because it brings everyone together no matter the age, race or gender. There was also always a spot on the tree for everyone. Sadly, the tree fell due to extreme winds from the thunderous rainy night, losing its balance and crumbling to the grass in the middle of campus.
The tree had a symbolic meaning to the University because it brought everyone together and with the tree gone, there has been a sense of sadness because the Linden tree was somewhat of a landmark on campus. There are other beautiful trees in the courtyard, but this specific Linden tree was the first to be planted there and the tree has seen thousands of students come and go throughout the years it has been there.
The Evansville Courier and Press reported that the tree has been there since 1937, when it was first planted by the senior class at that time. Although the tree is gone, the memories still remain there and for those that happened to see it while it stood tall, will forever remember the wonderful feelings we had seeing it. “The Linden tree will forever be part of the UE history because of its symbolic meaning to the University,” said Dr. Mark Shifflet, a professor and department chair at the University. “The tree was like a building; it was part of the University.” A lot of big old trees have died off over the years around campus. Hopefully the Linden tree is replaced and a new one is planted there to take its place.