Preserving the Heart of Campus
"The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit."
Endowing the Oval Preservation Fund
When remembering the beautiful Fort Collins campus, most Rams will picture the university’s Oval and its cherished, giant elm trees. Many of the trees date from the 1880s and 1920s and their size and beauty make the Oval iconic - likely the most photographed location on campus. It is a site for graduation celebrations, weddings and festivals.
There are 99 massive American elms circling the Oval and lining its walkways. These elms represent the heart of the Colorado State University campus for generations of Rams.
This historic area of campus was first planted in the spring of 1881 and began with just two rows. At the time, trees were planted in this area to mitigate a problematic swampy area. Then, it served as the CSU baseball field. Oval Drive was designed by Aggie civil engineering students and faculty in 1910. In 1922, 1-inch saplings were planted. Many of those saplings survive today. The center lawn was an alfalfa and grain field until 1925, when grass was installed to create the Oval we know today.
Our iconic Oval is our heart. It welcomes new students, calls graduates home, and provides shelter for the campus community. Your gift to the Oval Preservation fund will provide enduring support to protect, preserve and enhance this special place so that it can continue to serve as a gathering place for the next 150 years.