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The Front Quad was part of the original tract of land the Trustees purchased for the campus in 1848. It has served formally and informally ever since as a place of gatherings and quiet solitude. The gently sloping depression was created in the nineteenth century as the result of brickworks set up in the Quad to produce the bricks for two campus buildings.
It has served as the Arboretum and the site of the Founder's Tree--the Bittle Poplar, and it remains as the location for College commencements and special convocations.