The magazine for Western Washington University

Art in the Fog

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Matthew Anderson ('06)

As a morning fog shrouds the giant sequoia at the north end of campus, Assistant Professor Cynthia Camlin’s Art students practice drawing the tree’s gnarled trunk and writhing limbs.

The 69-year-old tree at the southwest corner of Edens Hall is the largest on campus by total volume, at 120 feet tall and 26 feet in circumference at the trunk. The tree can be seen throughout Bellingham each holiday season, when WWU decorates it with lights. It was planted in 1941 by Dr. Irving Miller, a longtime chair of what was then known as the Department of Education and Psychology.

WWU’s campus is home to many notable trees, inspiring retired Geology Professor Myrl Beck to write the WWU Campus Tree Tour. Among the stops on Beck’s tour: the 100-year-old Norway Maples in front of Old Main, a rare Empress Tree that “erupts in spring with spectacular blue-purple, trumpet-shaped flowers,” and a Bigleaf Magnolia that in the 1970s graced the yard of a “rustic little house” before it was surrounded by a WWU parking lot.

Read more about WWU’s campus trees at our online tree tour.