Posts tagged ‘george griffith’

A Lotus From the Arboretum

"Arboretum at Penn State"

While we all wait for the verdict from the Jerry Sandusky trial, I thought I’d share something more pleasant with you—a photo taken by Laurie Creasy ’77 of Penn State Public Information over at the Arboretum.

It’s a lotus, and according to Patrick Williams ’93, the development director responsible for the Arboretum, it’s similar to the lotus we featured on our cover a few years back. Both are the work of George Griffith ’56, who has donated many of his beautiful lotuses and other water lilies to the Arboretum.

According to Patrick, the one on our magazine cover was the Manchurian lotus. This latest photo, by contrast, is of “a miniature lotus called South Beach. George gave it to us in April. We re-planted a division of the Manchurian lotus in the lotus pool late last month. Hoping to see it bloom later this summer or early fall.”

I had a chance to stroll the Arboretum last weekend with a friend who was visiting the area, and I was really taken by how beautiful it is. I hope to blog about that and share some photos next week.

Tina Hay, editor

June 22, 2012 at 11:15 am Leave a comment

Trying to Coax Spring

Here’s a sneak preview of the cover of the new issue of The Penn Stater. It goes with a feature-length profile inside on George Griffith ’56, who has been cultivating water lilies since he was an undergraduate at Penn State more than 50 years ago. We hired Pittsburgh-area photographer Scott Goldsmith to shoot Griffith and his lilies late last summer, and the photos that came back were just stunning.

Our art director, Carole Otypka, worked on this story in December, when the Pennsylvania winter was already getting pretty old. She felt it would be the perfect cover story for a spring issue, and she chose this image for the cover.

Tina Hay, editor

February 24, 2010 at 5:28 pm 1 comment

We Love the UPS Guy

Mister UPS paid us his bimonthly visit today, bringing us copies of the March-April issue of The Penn Stater. Our graphic designer, Jessie Knuth, got a photo of him.

We love our UPS guy—though I must admit that when I asked around the office just now, I discovered that none of us actually knows his name. But every two months he cheerfully wrangles a few hundred pounds’ worth of magazines into our building, whereupon we commence ripping open the boxes, checking out the new issue, and—sometimes—noticing mistakes. We’ve found one mistake already, but there’s no way I’m telling you what it is. You’ll just have to see if you can find it yourself.

The new issue features the most fervently spring-coaxing cover we could imagine: a gorgeous shot of a water lily from one of the more than 30 water lily and lotus ponds of George Griffith ’56, who cultivates these beautiful plants on a farm near Ligonier, Pa.—and who has helped create a lily pond at the new Arboretum at Penn State.

Besides a profile of Griffith, the March-April issue includes a photo essay based on a collection of African-American history—books, postcards, and the like—donated to the University by Charles Blockson ’56, and a piece on Matt Marek ’98, who, as director of programs for the Red Cross in Haiti, has had his hands full since the Jan. 12 earthquake.

Look for the new issue of The Penn Stater in your mailbox as soon as tomorrow, depending on where you live. And, if you don’t already get the magazine, all you need to do is join the Alumni Association.

As always, we welcome your feedback on the magazine.

Tina Hay, editor

February 24, 2010 at 5:11 pm 1 comment

The Sight of Spring

With the January/February 2010 issue at the printer, we’re already thinking about our March/April magazine. We’ll be bringing the welcome sight of Spring to your door with a feature on George Griffith ’56 and his striking water lilies and lotus flowers. Griffith has been one of the early financial supporters of the Arboretum at Penn State and has also donated some of his water lilies to a pond at the Arboretum.

Back in August we sent Pittsburgh photographer Scott Goldsmith to shoot the gardens surrounding Griffith’s home in Ligonier, Pa. It’s clear that Goldsmith was very inspired by what he found blooming in the 32 ponds scattered on Griffith’s 60-acre farm. The images are too beautiful to keep them to ourselves, so with 6 inches of snow on the ground and Spring feeling a long way away, it’s the perfect time for a sneak preview. Here’s a little shot of color for these white-washed winter days….


Carole Otypka, art director

December 22, 2009 at 3:54 pm 2 comments

A Sneak Preview of the Arboretum

DSC_0389 sm Richard Johnson

Arboretum horticulturist Rick Johnson ’82

The Alumni Association staff today got a tour of the Arboretum at Penn State, which is still being developed but which is lot farther along than any of us imagined. It’s a 370-acre chunk of land across Park Avenue from the new Business and Forest Resources Buildings—or, for those of you who haven’t been back to campus in a while, it’s across Park Avenue from what used to be Parking Lot 80.

Our guide was Richard Johnson ’82, shown above; he’s the horticulturist for the Arboretum. (By the way, he’ll be featured on the Everyday People page of our September-October issue.) He showed us the stuff that’s already been planted or constructed and the stuff that’s still to come. In the “still to come” category is some impressive stuff, including an education center, a rose garden, a medieval garden, and a 10,000-square-foot glass conservatory. When it’s all finished, it should be amazing.

DSC_0411 sm fountain crowdRick showed us a big fountain that’s being installed (see photo at right)—although it won’t be called a fountain. It’s the “Margery Enes Smith Soaring Waters.” It’ll shoot jets from four to 15 feet in the air and be illuminated at night.

DSC_0399 sm water lilyI was also excited to see that there’s a lily pond—in bloom. Water lilies are extremely fun to photograph, as you can see at right. The lilies were a gift from George Griffith ’56, who owns a big garden center in Johnstown, Pa. He plans to donate more lilies—and some lotus, another showy aquatic plant—when things are farther along.

DSC_0361 sm water mapUp at the Overlook Pavilion, which is already finished, we saw thing called a “water map,” a form of public sculpture, essentially. It was done by Stacy Levy, a world-class artist who happens to live in Centre County. It shows the area’s watershed, complete with streams, water towers, and the like. And when it rains, the runoff flows over the water map in a way that mimics what really happens in the local watershed.

The Arboretum isn’t officially open yet. It’ll be dedicated next April during Blue-White Weekend, and I think that construction will continue for several years beyond that—I get the impression that they’re doing things as funds permit. (The Arboretum is relying heavily on private funding, and got a big boost two years ago with a $10 million gift from Skip Smith of State College.)

Arboretum master planFinally, here’s a map of the whole Arboretum—current and planned. Click on it to see it bigger and in more detail. Same goes for any of the photos here.

Tina Hay, editor

July 17, 2009 at 5:05 pm Leave a comment

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