Tiller, India

About India Tiller

There is a tree on campus, at the Memorial Chapel's Garden of Reflection & Remembrance, dedicated to India Tiller, who was a former staff member in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Undergraduate Studies office. She was known to have a strong interest in nature as well as efforts in preserving and improving the natural environment. Since 2004, India had served as program management specialist in the ECE Undergraduate Studies office. "India was the smiling face of the undergraduate office, the first person that every student met," said Patrick O'Shea, Professor and Chair of the ECE Department. "She was always good humored and helpful to all." India attended high school in Detroit at Osborn High School. She went on to attend college at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, receiving a B.A. in Speech Science and Communication. She also received an A.A. from the Psychology Center in Catonsville, Md., and later enrolled in the University of Maryland University College Master of Science in Management program. Before joining the ECE Department, India worked as a staff member in the University of Maryland's Department of Business Services from 2000 - 2004. Tiller passed unexpectedly on February 24, 2009, at 49 years old. 1

India Tiller 

About the Heritage River Burch

The tree dedicated to India Tiller is located in the Garden of Reflection and Remembrance by the Memorial Chapel on campus. This tree is a Betula nigra ‘Cully’ Heritage, commonly known as a river birch. It is of the ‘Cully’ cultivar, but is often sold as 'Heritage'. This tree is native to the floodplains, swampy bottomlands, and along streams of Missouri. The river burch is a fast growing, medium-sized tree that can grow with either a single or multi-stemmed trunk. The bark of this particular cultivar is salmon-cream to brown that curls and peels to reveal a creamy-white inner bark. The tree features dark green, diamond-shaped leaves with double-toothed margins that turn yellow in the fall. In the early spring, the tree produces drooping brown catkins and upright green catkins, which are clusters of flowers.2 Plentiful tiny nuts are produced after the green (female) catkins mature in May-June, which are popular amongst songbirds. The catkins are used by redpolls and pine siskins, two types of birds. The foliage of the river burch are also eaten by deer and other animals.3

Tiller River Birch  India Tiller

Written by Amanda Sames

 

  1. https://ece.umd.edu/news/story/department-seeks-donations-for-india-tiller-memorial
  2. http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=a200
  3. https://www.arborday.org/trees/treeguide/TreeDetail.cfm?itemID=792