Scot Walker '90 August 22, 2017 9:08 AM updated: August 22, 2017 10:30 AM
The Century Tree is one of the most visible and well-known landmarks on the Texas A&M. The 126-year-old live oak, which dominates Academic Plaza with its massive canopy and low branches, has been growing in that spot since 1891, and hundreds or perhaps even thousands of Aggies have gotten engaged under its boughs. The Century Tree was designated a Famous Tree of Texas by the Texas A&M Forest Service in 2011.
One Aggie who treasures the Century Tree tradition is coordinating a project to spread the Aggie Spirit around the country via saplings from the massive live oak, while also raising money for academic and Aggie Ring scholarships for A&M students.
Andy Duffie ’78 first picked acorns from the Century Tree during his 30th Class Reunion in 2008. It took a couple years and some trial and error before he was able to get acorns to sprout consistently into saplings he could nurture, but in 2010, he began selling saplings to raise A&M scholarship funds. The trees are popular wedding, baby, birthday and graduation gifts, and little pieces of Aggieland are now growing in yards across Texas and the southern United States.
By October 2012, Duffie had sold enough trees to fund a $100,000 President's Endowed Scholarship, and the first scholarship from that endowment was awarded in August 2014. He has also funded a $25,000 Aggie Ring Scholarship and is now raising funds for a $25,000 Endowed Sul Ross Scholarship for the Corps of Cadets.
Seedlings grown from the Century Tree's acorns are available for purchase year-round for $100 each. They can be picked up in College Station or shipped by UPS for an additional fee. At time of purchase, they range in height from 6 to 18 inches tall. Duffie also provides instructions for proper care and planting of the trees.
For more information or to order your own Century Tree offspring, contact Andy at centurytree@AggieNetwork.com, or visit his Facebook page or www.aggiecenturytreeproject.com.
You can read much more about the history of Texas A&M's most famous tree at AggieNetwork.com/century-tree-125/.