Celebrate Arbor Day with University Loft Company

“Arbor Day is not like other holidays. Each of those reposes on the past, while Arbor Day proposes for the future.” — J. Sterling Morton

The tradition of planting trees on Arbor Day is alive and well at University Loft Company. ULC is celebrating the importance of trees and forest ecosystems by inviting employees and media guests to plant trees at ULC’s 3nd Annual Arbor Day Celebration, Friday, April 27 on the ULC campus. The Company is welcoming students and teachers from Cathedral High School who will take part in the event.

“Taking care of our community forests demonstrates our Company’s ongoing commitment to the preservation, protection and enrichment of our environment,” notes James Jannetides, CEO. “Preserving our trees and forests is vital to maintaining our quality of life and working to build a better future. I hope everyone will want to take part in this effort.”

ULC employees and invited guests will join together to plant ceremonial trees in recognition of Arbor Day. Trees will also be planted in memorium to employees who have past away. Employees and guests planting trees on April 27th will have their lunch provided by ULC.

The celebration of Arbor Day had its beginnings in an area not associated with trees or forests—the Great Plains. J. Sterling Morton moved to Nebraska in 1854 with his wife Caroline. Nebraska, a Great Plains state, was a newly formed territory at that time and devoid of trees.

J. Sterling endeavored to encourage tree planting in order to attract people to the state. He did that first as Editor of Nebraska City News, and then as President of the Agricultural Board. In 1872, he proposed that the state declare April 10 as Arbor Day, and his proposal was accepted. On that day in 1872, it was reported that Nebraskans planted one million trees.

In 1885, Nebraska declared J. Sterling Morton’s birthday, April 22, as Arbor Day and made it a legal holiday. Today, all 50 states, as well as many countries around the world, recognize Arbor Day. The date it is observed varies by region, depending on the best time of year to plant trees. University Loft Company relies on a sustainable, environmentally friendly, farmed timber. Trees are very important to ULC and the Company. Early in its history ULC adopted a ‘green’ commitment to promote a healthy environment.

University Loft Company strives to promote ‘green’ practices in every aspect of the Company’s operations. Cardboard packing materials are recycled. Paper recycling bins are strategically placed throughout the facility for ease of use by staff. Environmentally friendly water based stains and lacquers are used in the production of ULC furniture. The timber used in the construction of ULC’s furniture is environmentally friendly, farmed timber and as such is sustainable. And still, Company president, James Jannetides feels more needs to be done and is systematically putting other mandates into practice to insure that by 2020 ULC will set the standard for ‘green’ manufacturers. “Being good stewards of our environment insures a future for all” said Jannetides.

James Jannetides founded ULC in 1986 while living in a Southern Illinois University dorm. The dorm room measured 12′ x 12′ with an occupancy of 4 students. The existing bunk beds were steel and stacked on each side of the room. Living in these cramped quarters Jannetides reasoned: “I can do better than this!” Jannetides began by building a lofted bunk bed to maximize on space. After other students saw the lofted bunk beds they asked where they could get similar beds. Jannetides offered to build the beds for sale to the students. Jannetides said “The next thing I knew I was hiring salesmen to pedal lofts to incoming freshmen.”

In the years since ULC’s beginnings in a college dorm room, James Jannetides, has grown Loft into an industry-­‐leading enterprise, which currently holds accounts with 1,200 colleges and universities.

A few of ULC’s highlights along the way include:

• 1992 ULC lands an account with the University of Portland, first major account

• 1993 ULC lands 5 more University Accounts

• 1994 Introduction of Environmentally Friendly Farmed Timber

• 1994 ULC lands 70 more University Accounts

• 1994 ULC becomes a GSA Contract Holder

• 1996 Introduction of the sled based tilt chair

• 1996 ULC secures the U.S. Military Camp Butler account

• 1995 ULC expands into a warehouse in Indianapolis

• 1997 ULC begins exporting to University of Guam

• 1997 ULC lands 800 more University Accounts

• 1997 ULC launches a mobile showroom

• 1998 ULC builds an upholstery factory in Tennessee

• 2001 ULC named by the Indiana Business Journal as one of Indy’s Fastest growing companies

• 2005 ULC acquires Sam’s Wholesale Account

• 2006 ULC acquires Menards Account

• 2006 ULC acquires Lowes Account

• 2007 ULC moves into a brand new 508,000 sq. ft. facility in Greenfield, Indiana

• 2009 ULC acquires the U.S. Military Camp Lejeuune and Camp Pendleton account


In recent years, the company has used skills in the design of wood, metal and glass furniture to expand into hospitality, clubs, churches, U.S. military, fashion plumbing, kitchen and bath markets.

Loft has two major U.S. manufacturing facilities; a 508,000 sq. ft. building just outside Indianapolis, Indiana and a second plant in Morristown, Tennessee.

Committed to providing a superior product with an unmatched service level, ULC is the leader in the contract furniture industry.

About University Loft Company and our solid wood modular residence life furniture:

Since 1984, when James Jannetides built a loft configuration for his own dorm room at Southern Illinois University, hundreds of thousands of college students have enjoyed better campus living thanks to University Loft furniture. Today, University Loft serves more than 1,200 colleges, universities and related student housing partners. As Jannetides’ says: “We are always learning, always innovating, and always improving … our environment, our products, and our service. We are University Loft Company.”

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