Tree is planted to honor Dr. Linda Samek, Provost

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Faculty and staff gathered on the lawn outside Schimmel Hall on May 6 for a brief tree-planting ceremony. The occasion was to honor Dr. Linda Samek, Provost, for her 22 years of service to the College.

The kind of tree chosen for Samek was “serviceberry,” a species described as “graceful, airy trees or shrubs which provide year-round ornamental interest in the landscape." Dr. Matt Lucas, who selected the tree, said the name was coincidental but appropriate, and added, “I chose it because it is a prolific spring flowerer and has brilliant fall color. Linda likes trees, particularly deciduous trees, because of the branch structure in the winter.”

A prayer of dedication by Dr. Rich Meyers compared service and a tree’s fruitfulness. “We’re already enjoying the current benefits of Linda’s service,” he said. “We look forward to the enduring results of her work that will continue through others here at Corban. The tree, as it grows, will remind all of us, not only of Linda, but the admonition to bear fruit--fruit that endures.”

During the ceremony, Dr. Colette Tennant read a poem she had written, called “For Linda.”

Geometry of possibilities – 
Each leaf angled toward gypsy light – 
Roots intersect layered abundance, 
Sister perpendicular to the green earth.

“Colette’s poem was fun, with its math terms,” Samek commented. “Mathematics is pretty much what I did when I first came here.”

During her tenure at Corban, Samek served as a professor of mathematics and education, Director of Teacher Education, Dean of Graduate Studies, Vice President of Academics, and most recently, Provost.

Dr. Nancy Martyn, who has known Samek since 1980, recalled Samek’s “ardent work” on the accreditation self-study done in 2006 which led to a successful outcome. She added, “Linda has helped to elevate the reputation of Corban in the educational community. She has earned the respect of many educators and policy makers, both regionally and nationally, and the awards she has earned have had a positive, residual effect on the College.”

In a faculty and staff gathering just prior to the ceremony, Dr. Virginia Cross noted, “Under Linda’s guidance, we have moved forward in academic excellence, and I appreciate that. She has expanded our vision to know what it means to make a difference in the world for Jesus Christ.”

Samek’s last day at Corban is June 30 after which she begins duties at another educational institution. Her colleague, Dr. Matt Lucas, succeeds her as Provost on July 1, 2008.

  • Dr. Linda Samek, Provost, and Dr. Reno Hoff, President, stand beside the tree planted and dedicated in her honor in a brief ceremony on May 6.

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