The Saguaro Cactus
I recently traveled to Tucson, Arizona where I admired live saguaro cacti for the very first time. I had heard about these tree-like cacti and seen them in movies, but that was very different than seeing them in person. The saguaro has the reputation of being beautiful, but frankly, I had never associated cacti with beauty. However, after admiring them at length in person, I could see how some described their long, upward bending arms as beautiful. Their white blooming flowers and red fruit certainly added to their attractiveness. It was not until I viewed them under the color of sunrise with a red mountainous landscape in the background that I was truly smitten by the saguaro cactus.
Having now had my interests peaked by these majestic cacti, I began to study up on them. What I discovered made me admire them all the more. These mighty cacti can grow up to 60 feet tall and weigh as much as 4,800 pounds. Moreover, the saguaros are the largest cacti in the United States and can live as long as 150 to 200 years! However, what I found most impressive about the saguaros was their tenacious ability to succeed in the most hostile growing conditions of the Sonoran Desert. Although growing in conditions of extreme heat and prolonged drought in soil deplete of most nutrients, the saguaros not only survive…they thrive. They dominate the landscape and project an image that is not soon forgotten.
Like the saguaro cactus, Weatherford College stands tall and tenaciously succeeds in the face of adversity. Just as the saguaro lives and grows in the harsh desert conditions, Weatherford College has survived the harsh conditions of two world wars, multiple serious financial droughts, and most recently, a global pandemic. Collectively, the challenges of the past helped Weatherford College grow into the strong institution that it is today.
The saguaro and WC also both project images that are recognized and appreciated by many. The efficiency, strength, and success of both elicit admiration. As Weatherford College grows and becomes increasingly complex, she will have many arms that will provide students with a variety of pathways to success. Her fruit will sustain and grow the young minds of future generations, and her flowering beauty will be a sight to behold. In this ever-changing, challenging world, I am quite confident that both the saguaro cactus and Weatherford College will undoubtedly continue to blossom and inspire.
Tod Allen Farmer
President, Weatherford College