A 100 year old tree will soon sprout out money for Texas A&M students. One Texoma man is planting roots in Vernon with seedlings from the Century Tree in attempt to start a scholarship.
Texas A&M alumni Andy Duffie tells Newschannel 6 the Texas A&M's Century Tree is special. "It has been allowed to grow in its natural state over the years so now its branches have extended out and now touch the ground. It creates a big canopy underneath it. Over the years it has become a sweetheart tree and hundreds of married engagements have taken place under the Century Tree between Aggie couples."
The Texas A&M Century Tree is not only special it is a landmark on campus. That is way Duffie is bringing its roots back to Texoma. "What a more appropriate way then to sell a living piece of Aggie land to Aggies around the state and create a scholarship in return." Duffie says two years ago he took acorns that had fallen off of the Century Tree on campus, planted them and now they have sprouted and branched out. They are almost ready to be sold to create scholarship money.
Duffie comments, "The idea was that I would need a certain number of trees and multiple that by the amount. I could sell each tree to raise the $100,000 endowment fund for scholarship money." And starting the 2013 school year any Texas A&M student would be eligible to apply for the Texas A&M Century Tree President's Endowed Scholarship.
That is something Duffie has been devoted to for some years now. He says, "You're contributing to the students future and you're also contributing to the future of Texas A&M." So Duffie encourages his fellow Aggie alumni to contribute too, and take home their very own Century Tree. "It's a special little piece of Aggie land that they can take with them to their home location. It's a living piece of Texas A&M and it will grow on for generations to come, so their grandchildren can play on this tree. It will have very special meaning to Aggies."
Andy Duffie is selling his Century Tree seedlings for $250.00 each or two trees for $400.00.
Right now he is only reserving the trees and plans to deliver them next fall. Duffie says almost half of his trees have already been reserved.
Andy Duffie says this is the first time a Texas A&M President's Endowed Scholarship has been funded through the sale of an item.