A Gift from Judi Dench

…What Judi Dench tree?

In 1993, Oscar-winning actress Judi Dench of James Bond and Shakespeare in Love fame donated a weeping larch tree to Merrimack. Her daughter, Finty Williams—who is also listed as a donor—is known for voicing the popular cartoon mouse, Angelina Ballerina.

What’s the story?

When Dench was a young actress attempting to launch her career in London, she met the late Father Joseph A. Flaherty who was studying literature and enjoying the city’s legendary theatres. The Father served the college for more than four decades as a beloved educator and administrator. When Dench heard of his passing, she honored him by gifting the college a living memorial.

Where can I see the tree?

On the left side of the main entrance of the Cushing Hall academic building sit both the tree and a stone bench with an inscription commemorating Father Flaherty.

In the Fall, from views facing the quad between Sullivan and Cushing Halls and the McQuade Library, visitors to campus can catch a glimpse of Judi Dench’s gift to Merrimack.

Download your free Merrimack wallpaper

Looking for a way to reminisce on the bucolic beauty of Merrimack’s campus? Click below to download gorgeous, free desktop wallpaper commemorating our 75th anniversary—so you can remember us every time you boot up your computer!

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