“From This Small Sapling ..."

“On December 1, shortly after noon, five men from the School of Medicine gathered in the courtyard outside the Medical Library. Some had shovels. They had come to plant a rare Oriental plane tree sapling, alleged to be a descendant of the ‘Tree of Hippocrates,’ under which the 5th-century Greek physician taught the art and science of medicine.

“The sapling was grown from seeds presented to Dr. Silver for the School of Medicine by Dr. William C. Gibson, chairman of the Universities Council of British Columbia, and a former student of Dr. John F. Fulton, the first chairman of the Department of the Hospitals of Medicine at Yale. Dr. Shope took 25 of them to his brother, William Flemer III (M.A. ’47) of the Princeton Nurseries, Kingston, N.J., who planted and nurtured them.

“Seven of the rare seeds germinated. If the one planted in the library courtyard survives the winter, the others will be planted nearby. Admittedly, the sapling is scarcely more than a twig, but historians typically are optimists. ‘The purpose of this endeavor is to establish a small park—a ‘Hippocratic Grove,’ with benches and a patio,’ said Dr. Viseltear. ‘It would be a place for contemplation and study, or a pleasant spot to enjoy one’s lunch and pass the time of day.’ ”