Commencement - May 3 & 4

Plan for your visit to campus to celebrate your graduate. All event details are located HERE

Fourth graders from Williamsburg Independent School District (WISD) joined Cumberlands students and staff on campus to celebrate an inaugural observance of Arbor Day.

“Planting trees is one of the most optimistic things you can do,” Dr. Sara Ash, chair of Cumberlands’ Tree Advisory Committee and a biology professor at the University, told WISD students. “Planting trees is about the future, and you guys are about the future too. Trees cut pollution, cool the air, reduce erosion, and produce oxygen. And on top of all that, they just look nice.”

This inaugural Arbor Day celebration was hosted by the Tree Advisory Committee at Cumberlands, whose goal is to increase the numbers and diversity of native trees on campus. Over the next 50 years, the committee, in conjunction with Cumberlands’ Office of Operations and Straight Cut Tree Services of Corbin, hopes to plant 200 more trees and introduce 40 new tree species to campus.

As part of the celebration, WISD students submitted artwork with the theme “Trees Connect Our World” to Ash for a contest. The winner of the contest was Baylee Rains, who then cut the ceremonial ribbon at the celebration. Rains also received a Cumberlands T-shirt, and a tag with her name on it will be placed on one of the trees recently planted on Cumberlands’ campus.

“We invited the fourth graders so that we could have an outreach to the community, so that they can see how important Arbor Day is, and so we can educate the youth,” said Ash. “It’s a way to reach out and go beyond just planting trees.”

Representatives from Cumberlands' campus, the Kentucky Division of Forestry (Urban Forestry and Southeast Region) and Straight Cut Tree Services also attended the event. They shared with students the importance of trees in society and how students could help care for trees in their everyday lives.

Located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction offering quality undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and online degree programs. Learn more at