About Jordan McNair
There is a tree on campus dedicated to Jordan McNair, who was a 19 year old offensive lineman for the University’s football team. He was a highly recruited player from McDonogh School, which soon became family, before coming to the University of Maryland.1 At Maryland, McNair was known to be a very passionate and enthusiastic member of the team, full of talent, humility, and genuinity.2 On May 29, 2018, McNair was showing signs of “extreme exhaustion”3 after an organized team workout, leading to him being airlifted to the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Hospital. McNair fought for his life against the heatstroke he suffered from the team workout and eventually passed on June 13, 2018. His sudden passing was a shock to his family, his friends, classmates, and the entire football community3, as McNair was an absolutely “invaluable and beloved” person.2 The “#79” on the sign signifies his jersey number.
(Jordan McNair and his father, from “Jordan’s Journey”)
About the Magnolia
You can find the tree dedicated to Jordan McNair outside Gossett Field House. This tree is a Magnolia grandiflora of the cultivar ‘Little Gem’. It is currently 6’-7’ tall, but can grow up to 15’-20’ with a spread of 7’-10’. This tree is native to the moist, wooded areas from North Carolina to Florida and Texas. It features evergreen, elliptical leaves that are a glossy, dark green on the top and rusty-brown on the bottom side of the leaf. In late spring to summer, the ‘Little Gem’ magnolia produces white, heavily fragrant, 6-petaled flowers. The flowers give way to cone-shaped fruit clusters that mature in the late summer to early fall. At maturity, the clusters release individual red-coated seeds.5 The fruit have been seen to attract birds to the tree. This magnolia cultivar in particular tends to bloom earlier than other cultivars.6 It is also much smaller than other types of magnolia trees, and tends to stay upright and compact as it grows for the first twenty years.5
Written by Amanda Sames