Tree planted to mark historic Thomas Jefferson visit

6 February 2023

A tree was last week planted at the University of Buckingham to mark the visit to the town of Thomas Jefferson, who went on to be the third President of the United States.

He stayed overnight in Buckingham in 1786 to visit Stowe gardens during a trip to Britain. He was a keen gardener and wanted to get some inspiration from the internationally-acclaimed gardens. He particularly liked “tulip trees” and that is the variety that has been planted on campus.

James Tooley, university staff and guests gather to plant tree on university grounds

President of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Leslie Greene Bowman, was the guest of honour at the ceremony on Friday.

Deputy Lord Lieutenant Carolyn Cumming, who’s been overseeing Queen’s Canopy planting locally, and her husband Robert, organised the event with support from Kathy Robins, of the Buckingham Society, who was there with her husband Bill. The Buckingham Society was keen for the historic visit to be marked with the tree on campus.

Former Chair of the University of Buckingham Council, Milly Soames, and the VC and his wife, Professor James and Cynthia Tooley, were joined by staff including the Dean of the Business School Deba Bardhan Correia and Dean of the Law School, Adolfo Paolini.

Vice Chancellor Prof James Tooley said: “I am delighted that the University is marking this bit of local history in this way. It was a lovely ceremony. By the river at the back of Prebend House is a scenic spot which which will be enhanced by the tree.

“Prebend House is associated with International Relations studies so it is an appropriate place to celebrate the visit of someone who went on to be an American President.

“I am grateful to all who organised and participated in the ceremony.”