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Your Tree of Learning is here!

We are thrilled to announce that The Open University’s Tree of Learning sculpture has now been ‘planted’ in the Betty Boothroyd Library.

A huge thank you

Your ongoing support for the 50th Anniversary Scholarships Fund means that we can now offer scholarships to carers who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to study. They will be able to experience the life-changing gift of education because of your kindness.

This incredible 22-foot sculpture includes over 7,000 gold-coloured shields to honour our incredible OU family. Thank you to every single one of you who has supported the 50th Anniversary Scholarships Fund and has a shield on the Tree.


One incredible sculpture

Looking at the impressive Tree, it’s clear just how much hard work and dedication went into bringing the sculpture to life. Metalwork artist Clare McHugh, known as MissFire, spent 94 days making every single branch of the Tree this summer, working in her studio through sweltering summer days. There are 1900 branches in total!

MissFire said:

“When I was approached and told the size of the original project it was quite daunting. It was bigger than anything I’ve made up until that point, but I reminded myself that life is about seizing opportunities, it’s about pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone and so, although I knew it was going to be a huge undertaking, I jumped at the opportunity.”

Now, that the Tree is in the library, Miss Fire is amazed by the generosity of donors, “seeing the Tree so full is a testament to what a success the project has been.”

We hope that our alumni will have the chance to see the Tree and their shields at future events on campus – so please do stay in touch to hear about new opportunities to visit our campus.

Published: 18 October 2019