One-of-a-kind Old Main Elm table up for auction

Own a piece of Penn State history. University alumni, fans and friends have an opportunity to bid on a one-of-a-kind table to be crafted from the limited wood reclaimed from the historic Old Main Elm, taken down in March after it succumbed to Elm yellows disease. The eBay auction began at 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, and is available directly at

The auction is being held in conjunction with Penn State Surplus; a link to the auction and photos of a prototype of the table also are available at It will be possible to place bids in person via a proxy at multiple times during the Blue-White Weekend.

More than a quarter of Penn State’s treasured elms have been felled since 2007 due to Elm yellows disease. This auction is for a uniquely commissioned piece of furniture to be produced by a local artisan from the stately tree that helped frame Old Main for nearly 80 years.

As a symbol of the University’s commitment to a sustainable future, proceeds from this auction will help establish The Reinvention Fund, the financial catalyst for transformative sustainability initiatives at Penn State. Bidders are encouraged to check with their tax adviser to determine the tax deductibility of this purchase.

A prototype of the table, along with other Penn State Elm furniture, will be on display at the University Park campus at the following times:

Friday, April 20:

-- 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Alumni Hall at the HUB-Robeson Center, as part of Penn State Earth Day.

-- 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the vendor area adjacent to Beaver Stadium on Curtin Road as part of the Blue-White Weekend Carnival.

Saturday, April 21:

-- 10 a.m. to 10 p.m in the vendor area adjacent to Beaver Stadium on Curtin Road as part of Blue-White Weekend Carnival.

Sunday, April 22:

-- 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the vendor area adjacent to Beaver Stadium on Curtin Road as part of Blue-White Weekend Carnival.

The auction, both in person and online, will end at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 22.

Pennsylvania artisan Tom Svec has previously created a piece for The Penn State Elms Collection, a distinctive line of fine furniture and frames produced from reclaimed wood whose proceeds support the replanting of the University Park campus with a wide variety of tree species. The Collection is a partnership between the Penn State Alumni Association and Penn State’s Office of Physical Plant.

The table will be about 7 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 17 inches tall (coffee table height). The top will be crafted exclusively from a prime piece of Old Main Elm wood. It will be signed and dated by the artist, engraved with a short statement of its significance as the first piece made from the Old Main Elm, branded with the Penn State Elms Collection logo and may include the insertion of a metal pin to commemorate a date of importance to the purchaser. The winning bidder will have the opportunity to select the additional wood species for the base (walnut or cherry).

Visitors are encouraged to come and view the prototype and learn more about Penn State’s commitment to sustainability during Penn State Earth Day and Blue-White Weekend.

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Last Updated April 17, 2012