Buckeye Tree Planted on Mount Union Campus to Honor "Buckeye Joe" Mastroianni
April 01, 2010
ALLIANCE, Ohio?Many people in the Alliance community will always fondly remember the late Joseph Mastroianni as "Buckeye Joe."
Mastroianni was the owner of several IGA grocery store operations in the area, including the Buckeye Village Market for many years before his retirement. He was named "Alliance Citizen of the Year" in 1993, and made many contributions to the Alliance community, including serving on the Mount Union College Board of Trustees. Mount Union College's Montgomery Field, an intramural athletics field, was provided by a gift from Mastroianni and his wife, Charlotte.
In recognition of his contributions to the Alliance community, George '54 and Shirley (Barrick '56) Weimer have donated a Buckeye tree, which has been planted at the entrance to Montgomery Field. When planting the tree, the Weimers buried a bottle beneath the tree, which holds a tribute to Mastroianni.
This tradition dates back many years, according to George Weimer. It began with Weimer's father, George Weimer, Sr., who, along with several of his classmates, planted trees between Chapman Hall and Miller Hall. Beneath the trees they buried bottles with their names in them. During Mount Union College's Sesquicentennial celebration in 1996, George Weimer accepted two-dollar contributions from Mount Union students to purchase trees to be planted on campus. Beneath these trees are bottles with the names and pictures of the students who contributed. George and Shirley Weimer also planted a tree between Chapman Hall and Miller Hall beneath which lies a bottle with their names in it. The Weimers presented Charlotte Mastroianni with a copy of the tribute to her husband that the Weimers composed and buried in the bottle beneath the Buckeye tree.
"Shirley and I thought there should be something on campus to remember 'Buckeye Joe,' said Weimer. "He did so much for the Alliance community. Everyone he had contact with seemed to succeed. He expected a lot, and so he got a lot in return. He contributed to the College, the community and the business world."