All hail Sky Tree
By Tabor Smith on October 6, 2015 Lifestyles
On Sept. 24, the DU campus changed. Classes went on as scheduled, students participated in clubs and sports, but everything was done under the looming new presence of a tree.
“It’s just absurd,” said freshman environmental science major Arie Feltman-Frank (Lincolnshire, Illinois).
Of course, a new tree on campus shouldn’t come as any surprise—DU is home to over 2,200 of them—but what prompted hysteria was not the tree itself, but the location. A small evergreen now sits atop a prominent tower on the new Anna & John J. Sie International Relations Complex.
It became known as “Sky Tree.” When students learned of its presence, they did what anyone would do when a large, confounding object appears in their vicinity; they deified it.
“I’ve heard all sorts of crazy stuff about how Sky Tree will save us all,” said Jonathan Udlock, a second-year mechanical engineering student (Littleton, Colorado), “It gives us something to look up to—a savior in the sky.”
Yik Yak, a social media app that allows anonymous posting, naturally became the place of worship. “Sky Tree, please give me the serenity to be calm during this Chem exam,” read one Yak. “Sky tree now has 24/7 bodyguard protection. All Hail,” read another.
In fact, placing a tree or leafy branch at the highest point of a structure is a historied and long-standing construction tradition. Known as “topping out,” the ceremony has different significance in different cultures, but it has origins in Scandinavia.