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‘Moeller Grove’ Honors Former Administrator

March 2013


The iconic stand of majestic oaks in front of Ambrose Hall will be named "Moeller Grove" in honor of retired administrator Don Moeller on April 23.

Moeller began his St. Ambrose career as a Theology Department faculty member in 1969. He went on to serve as academic dean, academic vice president and dean of faculty. He retired as provost in 2002, but continued to serve the university as an adjunct instructor through 2004.

During his tenure, enrollment grew from 1,100 to more than 3,000. Moeller helped launch several academic programs, including the first graduate degree MBA program in 1977. He also helped the university obtain several significant grants.

During his career, Moeller read the names of thousands of graduating students during outdoor spring commencement ceremonies.

"Don spent considerable time under or near the oaks," said retired Professor of Biology Richard Legg, PhD, "whether in his office in Ambrose Hall or during outdoor commencement ceremonies in the dappled sunlight created by them. Given their stature and dignity-and the richness our oaks endow upon St. Ambrose's culture-it's fitting to name the grove after someone who personifies our Ambrosian values."

About Moeller Grove

  • The grove consists of 54 bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) trees
  • The species is native to North America in the eastern and midwestern United States and south-central Canada
  • The most "senior" of St. Ambrose oaks are approximately 150 years old
  • A very deep taproot makes bur oaks difficult to transplant
  • Several years ago, the state of Iowa collected St. Ambrose's bur oak acorns for a repopulation project

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