Planting the Trees of the Future
at Wyoming Catholic College

“A society grows great when old men plant trees
in whose shade they shall never sit.”


The treeless landscape of Cheyenne in the 1880’s

Dear Friends of Wyoming Catholic College

We need more trees!

In the early days of Cheyenne, Wyoming, when General Grenville Dodge arrived at the site of what would eventually become the state capital, he beheld a barren landscape—a river and a spare handful of trees, dwarfed by vast expanses of windswept plains. In 1867, when the first charter for the city was established, diarist Nennie Steel wrote that the entire town had just twelve trees—a dozen trees, in total.

So, Nennie Steel and the good people of Cheyenne took trains to Nebraska, dug up trees along the riverbanks and then returned to plant them along the streets of Cheyenne. Dozens and dozens of trees were planted in those early days, quickly followed by hundreds, even thousands. The effects were astounding. In 1982, Cheyenne was designated a “Tree City USA” by the Arbor Day Foundation, and today, there are about a quarter-million trees carpeting the city, providing their shade, shelter, and arboreal beauty to the entire population.

From 12 to 250,000; what a transformation! And all because a group of people recognized the importance of doing something from which they would never benefit personally, planting trees that would provide shelter for future generations, rather than for those who did the planting.

Here at Wyoming Catholic College, we are searching for supporters like these far-sighted Cheyennites. As an institution that has existed for a “mere” sixteen years, our graduates are still establishing themselves in the world. And this means we cannot depend on them alone for the kind of sustaining support that so many colleges and universities marshal each year from their alumni. So we need spiritual alumni to step forward and sustain this unique educational project in their stead, so that it will bear the rich fruit Wyoming Catholic alone can provide to this fractured world of ours.

We need people to help us plant trees!

The seeds of our future hopes are in these young men and women, but those seeds will only grow into their full potential through the generosity of others—people who recognize how important this education is and are willing to sacrifice to make it possible, even though they may never benefit from the leadership and success of our graduates directly. We need people like Nennie Steel and her friends to plant the trees (our graduates) that will provide transformative clarity, vision, and leadership to future generations.

Recognizing the need for more supporters—more planters of trees!—a generous benefactor has stepped forward with a challenge grant:

Every gift we raise between now and Thanksgiving will be matched, up to $100,000!

I cannot stress enough how important our young people will be to the future of our world, our society, and our church—indeed, how important they already are! And I cannot stress enough how much I and my colleagues here at the College rely on the generosity of others to make these extraordinary students’ time here in Lander possible. Please use the form below to make a gift today!

Join us in this “Planting the Trees” matching campaign, and have the impact of your gift doubled; it will make all the difference to our students. And they, in turn, will make all the difference to those they impact after graduation, thanks to the generosity and selflessness of people like you, who know that “planting these trees” today is the only way to ensure the betterment of the generations who come after us.

In Christ,



Professor Kyle Washut, President