The stars were aligned at Wistar’s recent Wisteria Party, with beautiful weather, blooming fringe trees, and Wisteria surrounding engaged Wistar friends and family. The event, created to express our gratitude to Wistar’s dedicated community, was one of a series of events to celebrate The Institute’s 125th anniversary. Each event throughout the 125th year of the Institute has an important connection to its past illustrious history in Philadelphia and its future, as the driver of scientific discoveries that saves lives and advances human health.
The connection with the Morris Arboretum goes back 300 years when Rebecca Wistar married Samuel Morris, and among their descendants were siblings John and Lydia Morris, who owned the summer home of Compton in Chestnut Hill, which later became known as the Morris Arboretum.
Beyond these familial connections, both the arboretum and The Wistar Institute share an important role as long-standing treasures in Philadelphia that are dedicated to the life sciences, botany and biomedical research. This connection, from its early days to the present, was eloquently presented by historian and New York Times best-selling author Andrea Wulf, who discussed her book Founding Gardeners. She enlightened the audience about the passion for gardening, agriculture, and botany that was shared amongst the Founding Fathers. Interestingly, Dr. Caspar Wistar was personal friends with Thomas Jefferson and succeeded the Founding Father as president of the American Philosophical Society when Jefferson retired from the post.
It was a beautiful and inspiring evening, and a great tribute to the history, culture and scientific strength that has been cultivated right here in Philadelphia.