The friends and family of Andrew Kroon ’05 continue to honor his memory through a range of environmentally-friendly projects, including planting trees across the country and supporting causes Kroon pursued while at Yale.
Kroon, a Latin American studies major and member of Berkeley College who was greatly devoted to the environment, passed away last spring just weeks before graduation, due to complications from a congenital heart defect.
Among the projects planned is the re-landscaping of the South Court of Berkeley College with plants that are “environmentally sustainable,” Berkeley Master John Rogers said. Such plantings are drought-tolerant and will not require unnecessary chemical fertilizers.
“The central goal is to make the area both beautiful and congenial with Andrew’s passion for sustainable living,” Rogers said.
During the summer, Rogers also began advising a group of Kroon’s friends in Berkeley on their efforts to remember him.
“Andrew’s friends are working to institutionalize a tribute to Andrew involving sustainable, environmentally-conscientious practices on campus,” Rogers said.
Noah Chesnin ’04, one of the friends, said his goal in setting up an environmental group is to continue the work that Kroon started when he was at Yale.
“Andrew had an amazing capacity to rally people who didn’t really consider themselves environmentalists,” he said. “We want to follow Andrew’s example.”
Although the memorial plans are only in their beginning phase, Rogers said Andrew’s friends are looking for ways to institute practices at Yale that will reflect Kroon’s commitment to the environment.
Chesnin said he and his friends are considering establishing an environmental alumni group that would be connected to the Yale Student Environmental Coalition, which Kroon co-chaired, and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
“Doing that would reconnect ’04, a class that Andrew knew well, as well as other people around the country and world that share his passion for environmentalism and that are interested in continuing to see Yalies participate in environmental issues,” he said.
Beyond the Yale campus, trees are being planted around the country for Kroon, his brother, Stephen Kroon ’05, said. There is also an environmental fund in Kroon’s name that will go to YSEC. Kroon’s father, Richard Kroon ’64, said friends and family have already donated over $40,000 to the fund.
A memorial plaque will also be installed in a planned building in the environment school, which Kroon was slated to attend after graduation. The building, funded by the Kroon family and named after Kroon’s parents, had been planned prior to Kroon’s death, Associate Environment School Dean Gordon Geballe said. He said construction will begin in fall 2006 and is estimated to be finished between 2007 and 2008.