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Ratcliff, Calliope “Poppy”

About Calliope Ratcliff

A Crimson Sky hardy pomegranate is dedicated to Calliope “Poppy” Ratcliff, who was the Executive Secretary to the founding Dean of the School of Architecture. She then served as one of his successors from 1965 to around 1980. In the words of Professor Ralph Bennett, a close friend and coworker of Ms. Ratcliff, “In a day when administration was lean, and the School was new, she was central to the lives of everyone in the School and greatly loved.” Ms. Ratcliff currently lives near Tampa, Florida with her husband Bob.1


About the Crimson Sky Hardy Pomegranate

A Turkish cedar, a subspecies of the cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani var. stenocoma) was originally donated by Ralph Bennett, but suffered due to soil compaction in the area and ultimately had to be replaced. The replacement is a Crimson Sky Hardy Pomegranate  (Punica granatum cv. Nikitski Ranni) from the Nikita Botanic Garden in Ukraine and is a unique addition to our campus tree inventory.  It was planted in the fall of 2022 by the zone 3 crew at the southwest corner of the west wing of Preinkert Hall. Calliope had Greek ancestors and pomegranate seeds feature heavily in Greek culture and mythology, having been mentioned in the story about Persephone and Hades. The tree was young and fragile at the time of planting, hence the green supportive tree protection tape in the photo. 

Ratcliff Tree

  1. Personal correspondence with Professor Ralph Bennett, a friend of Ms. Poppy Ratcliff’s
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