In 1907 W.H. Nichols and E.F. Nichols gave an arboretum to the University of Michigan that extends from Hill Street to the river below. Almost seventy years later a grove of stately pines on the western edge of this land provided the inspiration for the pine seedlings now finding root in the Bluecircle. A recent visit to the Nichols Arboretum showed that much has not changed with the passing of time – students still share sports on the meadows and wine, snacks and companionship in the shady nooks. The pine grove remains stately in the evening sky, albeit taller than I remembered. But after more than 100 years the pines share a lesson not evident in their (and my) youth, since a few stand only as soaring grey monuments to lives lived at the top of a hill.