Ceremony included tree dedication, official designation of arboretum naming
– Wofford College inaugurated a new custom of observing “Roger Milliken Day” each year in mid-October with an 11:30 a.m. ceremony on Tuesday, Oct. 21. The program included the dedication of a newly planted blue giant sequoia tree and the official designation and announcement of the “Roger Milliken Arboretum at Wofford College” by members of the college board of trustees.
The was held on the lawn of the Roger Milliken Science Center.
“Roger Milliken Day” will be held each year in mid-October, around the time of Milliken’s Oct. 24 birthday. A new tree will be planted each year, adding to the arboretum. The event will serve to honor Milliken’s long service to the college as a member of the board of trustees and a valued leader in developing the campus as a national arboretum. Earlier this year, the board bestowed the title of trustee emeritus on Milliken, the first such designation by the college. He has served 48 years as a trustee.
Milliken is chairman of Milliken & Co., a diversified international textile company based in Spartanburg. His interest in horticulture has been lifelong. In 1969, Milliken & Co. initiated a program that transformed its 650-acre headquarters and research campus from a peach orchard into a testing ground for identifying, cultivating and sharing information about “Noble Trees” – the best of the best for the next generation. Today, the ponds, trees and trails that make up the corporate grounds are open to the public at no charge.
While on Wofford’s board of trustees, Milliken led the initiative to recapture the original 1854 vision of the campus by creating a cohesive arboretum to enhance the natural beauty of the Piedmont landscape and provide an outdoor classroom experience for students.
Self-guided walking tours of the Roger Milliken Arboretum are available; printed guidebooks are available outside the Admission Office on campus. Since the 1990s, more than 5,000 trees representing 145 species, including new cultivars, have been planted on campus. Most of the trees and shrubs in the collection are identified with metal tags. In addition to a printed walking tour guide of the arboretum, audio of the tours is available for download to iPods and other MP3 players at www.wofford.edu/arboretum