The Commonwealth Medical College - unique in many ways

Original Tree of Hippocrates to be planted on site of The Commonwealth Medical College

Wednesday, December 10, 2020

Grafts from a tree that provides a direct link back to Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician regarded as the father of medicine have been harvested to be planted on the site of The Commonwealth Medical College’s new Medical Sciences Building.

The tree is a direct descendent of the tree Hippocrates planted on the Greek Island of Kos about 2,400 years ago. The tree serves as a great symbol in medicine because according to legend it is the same tree that Hippocrates taught his pupils the art of medicine under more than 200 years ago.

The grafts were donated by Dr. James Boland, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Surgery at West Virginia University’s Charleston Division and Clinical Director CAMC Cardiovascular & Surgical Services from a tree that is currently located on the grounds of the West Virginia Health Sciences Center in Charleston, West Virginia. Robert D’Alessandri, MD, President and Dean of The Commonwealth Medical College and Mr. Thomas McLane, Principal Landscape Architect with Thomas McLane Associates of Pennsylvania were present at the November ceremony where they received the grafts and prepared them for their trip North. Mr. McLane then brought the grafts to Corky “Edward” Kashuba, owner Corky's Garden Path Greenhouses in Clarks Summit. Mr. Kashuba is harvesting the shafts in two locations among his 14 greenhouses.

Additionally, Mr. McLane is harvesting several grafts on his property as well. It is expected that the harvesting can yield as many as twelve trees for the medical school.

“This tree that is such an important symbol of integrity in the art of medicine will serve as an important addition to TCMC’s Medical Sciences Building. Just as Hippocrates taught his students under its branches we hope that our students will be able to sit and study under this historic tree.

We are grateful for our friends at West Virginia University who have shared this tree with us as we build a medical school upon the principles that were held in the beliefs of Hippocrates.” Stated Robert D’Alessandri, MD President and Dean of The Commonwealth Medical College.

The future Medical Sciences Building, located on Pine Street in Scranton is expected to open in 2011 and will eventually serve more than 500 medical and Master of Biomedical Sciences (MBS) students and 175 full-time equivalent faculty members, plus support personnel. The permanent site will include administrative offices, classrooms and research space.