Origins of the Arboretum

Origins of the Arboretum

In 1948, Mary Behrend donated her 400-acre Glenhill Farm to Penn State Behrend in memory of her husband, Ernst, co-founder of the Hammermill Paper Company.

Arthur Westcott Cowell, a nationally-noted designer who established the Department of Landscape Architecture at Penn State in 1913, had developed the original plan for landscaping at Glenhill shortly after the Behrends acquired the property in the early 1930s. While living at Glenhill, the Behrends added to its beauty by acquiring many exotic trees. The couple traveled extensively and must have been impressed by trees from the Orient, as they acquired many.

Notable examples continue to thrive on campus today, including the Japanese Umbrella Pine near the Glenhill Farmhouse pool.

Today, Mary Behrend’s estate has grown into an 854-acre college campus bustling with thousands of students, yet it still maintains the natural beauty and peaceful serenity of a country retreat.

To learn more about the arboretum, email Ann Quinn, lecturer in biology, or call her at 814-898-6993.

To support the Landscape Fund, email Kathryn Buesink, assistant director of stewardship, or call her at 814-898-6345.