JONESBORO - Twenty Yoshino cherry blossom trees will be planted in a groundbreaking ceremony on the Arkansas State University campus, Friday, March 30. The trees will lay the foundation for an annual international spring celebration.
The ceremony, hosted by the Chancellor's Office, the Office of Global Initiatives and the International Student Association (ISA), begins at noon on the northeast lawn of the Humanities and Social Sciences Building, 2401 Aggie Road. In the event of rain, the tree planting will continue outdoors as planned, but other activities will move indoors to the lobby of the Red WOLF Center.
The tree planting is open to the campus and the public. Chancellor Kelly Damphousse will speak and the executive staff and students will be recognized for their efforts in establishing the spring celebration.
"The International Student Association has done a tremendous job with leadership and service on campus," said Dr. Angela Kremers, associate director of the Office of Global Initiatives and ISA faculty adviser. "They were recently honored with the Alpha Wolf Award during Pride Day for outstanding commitment to serving the campus community."
The ISA is working on a crowdfunding campaign through the A-State Student Philanthropy Council and Global Initiatives to support this project and will donate the trees.
The celebration will include authentic international food served in bento boxes, a single-portion take-out meal common in Japanese cooking, as well as a strolling musician and blankets on the lawn. Future celebrations will include performances on the lawn alongside the blooming cherry blossom trees in addition to international food and music.
"The Cherry Blossom Tree Crowdfunding Campaign is a project that the students feel passionate about to leave a tangible, positive mark on campus for years to come," added Kremers. "The cherry blossom tree is special to many of our international students because it is a sign of spring, gratitude and a welcoming place to visit. It is inspiring to see young students from around the world care so much about making a difference in Jonesboro."
Kremers also said the spring celebration shares the students' desire to give back and leave a beautiful green space that students, faculty, staff and community members can enjoy.
The Yoshino cherry tree is an ornamental tree also known as the Japanese flowering cherry and is one of the most popular and widely planted flowering cherry trees. It usually blooms in March and April and produces light pink or white fragrant clusters of blossoms.