CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The "gum tree" at Southeast Missouri University was damaged and now there is a campaign to get a new one.
A spokesperson with the university said the tree came down during a storm in May 2018.
The original tree died and was replaced in 1989, according to Southeast.
The original tree was cut off at the base. Now a picture of the old tree stands in it's place with flowers.
Along with that picture is a very small tree that sits in a pot. This serves as a temporary replacement until a new tree comes along.
Oh, and the small tree and picture already have gum on them.
Southeast Missouri State University student Bhenu Schgal said he was saddened when he heard about the tree being damaged during the storm.
"I was sad the day I saw it on social media," Schgal recalled. "I was in New York at that time but it was really sad to see that the tree was not there when I came back."
Kanchen Tomar and Schgal were walking down Cardiac Hill on Tuesday when they stopped to visit the memorial site of the gum tree. Something they said means a lot to them.
"It was basically a landmark that left a legacy where every graduate came up and stuck a gum basically," Schgal said. "Which, it's a Southeast tradition. For me. traditions are really important."
For Tomar, she remembers her first time she put a piece of gum on the tree.
"When I came here to Southeast, I was given a gum at my orientation and I was asked to put it on it," Tomar said. "So it holds an emotional value to me."
They are both relieved that there are efforts to replace the tree and can't wait to see one back up.
"I guess everyone is going to be happy to know there is going to be a new tree," Tomar said. "This is a tradition for Southeast so it's going to be something everybody is going to look forward to."
"The next year when I come back for homecoming, I will be expecting a tree somewhere on campus where I can go and basically continue the legacy," Schgal said.
The campaign has collected $1,320 from donations. Their goal is $2,500.