Written by Linda Wood, Center for the Study of Complex Systems (original story)

Following the 2021 passing of the Center for the Study of Complex Systems' (CSCS) beloved Director, Charlie Doering, a group of students initiated a student-led plan to Name a Tree for Charlie as part of a program run by Matthaei Botanical Gardens/Nichols Arboretum. Prof. Doering was the Nicholas D. Kazarinoff Collegiate Professor of Complex Systems, Mathematics and Physics, and the Director of the CSCS for six years.

With the love and support of approximately 130 unique individuals (that expanded to include friends, family and colleagues) supporters able to to reach the required $2,500 that ensured we would have a designated tree in Charlie's honor, along with a commemorative tree tag for a period of 20 years.

Charlie's beloved wife Paula and his family were able to choose a tree, and they chose a Catalpa, with Paula stating 'There is a huge catalpa two doors over and from his favorite seat on the deck Charlie would make people stop and admire it.'

Read more about the fundraising for the tree here. It has been a few steps to complete the project, but just in time for spring and picnics, the plaque and tree are ready for viewing.

If you go to this page and type Charlie Doering (or Doering) in the search window - you will see where the tree is located.


The plaque reads:


Catalpa speciosa


Native to Michigan and North America

in memory of Charlie Doering

Beloved Professor, colleague, friend, spouse, father, grandfather, rebel, and huge fan. Go Blue - beat everyone!