Now that Phil Knight’s $68,000,000 has been fully dispersed for the newest of the new Duck facilities, many people wonder, what will Uncle Phil do next? More classrooms and lecture halls? Another library? More offices for professors? Maybe a giant playground? Well, to answer that question, no, he will donate a forest.
Knight has supplied funding for 39 trees composed of Douglas fir, coast redwood, giant sequoia, western red cedar and Canadian hemlock, all between 25 and 40 feet tall, and all planted on the north (uncovered) side of Autzen Stadium. The trees will be joined by a few artificial streams, indigenous plants and improved walkway, all designed to create a contemplative state of mind (probably to contrast with the loud and intense atmosphere inside the actual stadium). Additionally, the improvements help fans exit said stadium more quickly and easily.
The campus of the University of Oregon is already one of the most beautiful in this country. Somehow, developers have found a way to blend the natural beauty of Oregon’s forests with some very high-tech structures. Seeing Mr. Knight helping continue this motif reminds me how nice it is to have him as part of our university. An excellent uncle to our school, indeed.