Giving Circles

New natural nomenclature for Friends of Mount Auburn membership and donor recognition 

The Friends of Mount Auburn includes three distinct giving circles.  

  • The Perennial Circle recognizes our members who make annual fund contributions of $40-$999. 
  • The Laurel Circle—formerly known as the 1831 Society—recognizes donors of $1,000 and up. 
  • The Oak Circle recognizes those individuals who have made planned gifts, naming the Friends of
    Mount Auburn in their will or estate plan. 

Chosen for their horticultural, historical, and symbolic significance to Mount Auburn and beyond, the plants, flowers, shrubs, and trees listed below have become the meaningful names of our new giving circles and levels.  

Giving Circles 

Perennial:  Just as we cherish the yearly blooms of flowering perennials, we are grateful for the annual support of our donors, which is why we named our membership giving circle the Perennial Circle. 

Laurel:  Symbolizing triumph, fame, and distinction, laurel also represents honor and recognition. We are honored to recognize our most passionate supporters in the Laurel Circle. 

Oak:  One of the more revered trees, the oak is a symbol of longevity, dignity, strength, and knowledge. It therefore aptly gives its name to the Oak Circle, in which we recognize those who have generously named the Friends of Mount Auburn in their will or estate plan. 

Giving Levels within the Laurel Circle 

Lily:  A recurring symbol on many of Mount Auburn’s monuments, lilies represent love and innocence. 

Rose:  A deeply symbolic flower with multifaceted meaning, the rose also connects to the remarkable rose window of Bigelow Chapel. 

Azalea:  Beyond the Victorian floriography meaning of temperance, azaleas also symbolize thoughtfulness, kindness, and positivity.   

Dogwood:  Often called an ornamental tree, the flowers of the dogwood represent renewal and resilience, and coincide with the sense of rebirth that arrives at springtime. 

Cedar:  Besides being an evergreen, which is itself meaningful, the cedar symbolizes success and length of days. 

Birch:  This New England favorite carries meaning across cultures, including protection, new beginnings, and adaptability. 

Maple:  Particularly stunning in its autumn colors, the maple represents sweetness and an appreciation for beauty, and Henry Dearborn, one of Mount Auburn’s founders, planted a magnificent swath of maples in the 1830s.