Charya, Jayanth "JJ"
About Jayanth V. Charya
An eastern redbud tree is dedicated to Jayanth "JJ" Charya, a University of Maryland student that unexpectedly passed away due to complications from a stroke on March 5, 2003. JJ was described as “the epitome of kindness and consideration, always smiling his beautiful, radiant smile,” and “loved helping people, and making them happy.” He was gifted at playing lead guitar1 and a member of the Alpha Class of the UMD Eta chapter of the Iota Nu Delta Fraternity, Inc.2 The JJ Metta Foundation was founded in his honor in 2006 and serves underprivileged youth in India.3
About the Eastern Redbud
The memorial tree dedicated to Jayanth V. Charya is located between Somerset and Worcester Halls. It is an eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis), a tree with a native spread from the Atlantic coast to central Texas. The eastern redbud has a short, maroon-purple trunk (this one is 7.0 inches in diameter) and is often multi-trunked. It has a round, wide-spreading crown of branches and pink flowers in tight clusters the bloom in the spring before the leaves appear. The tree grows to 15-30 feet and has smooth, heart-shaped4 dull green to blue-green deciduous leaves with a papery texture that do not have a significant fall color. After flowering, bean-like, dry seed pods form that mature to brown in the summer. The eastern redbud is commonly found in open woodlands and their margins, limestone glades and along rocky streams and bluffs.5
Written by Joanna Barton