Alumni Garden to be Dedicated
SHSU students will now have a visible memorial of the foundation the university provides with the completion of the Alumni Garden, near the Alumni Fountain on the SHSU campus. A dedication ceremony for the garden will be held Oct. 25 at 2 p.m. as part of homecoming activities.
Developers hope to ultimately incorporate the garden and fountain into an Alumni Plaza. "The Alumni Fountain was created as a memorial to university alumni and friends. It is a link to SHSU," said Ronny Carroll, past president of the Alumni Association and current member of the Alumni Advisory Board.
"Three or four years ago, the developmental committee had the idea to do something on campus so that present students could see the presence of the alumni and provide a memorial for those who had passed here before," he said.
Paving stones were available for purchase by alumni and friends, engraved with the names of graduates and professors or anyone with a special meaning or contribution to the university. The stones were placed beside the fountain for students and visitors alike to enjoy.
Kevin Hayes, director of Alumni Relations and a 1989 graduate of SHSU, said it became apparent the location did not properly recognize individuals in a dignified manner.
"I was out by the fountain one day and I saw one of the stones covered with debris," Hayes said. "That is a high traffic area, people walking through, golf carts going over it. If you come back years from now and want to look at your stone, you don't want to find it covered up and dirty."
From this, the idea of the Alumni Garden evolved to provide a quiet, serene place where everyone can visit and reflect on the history and experiences of SHSU. The Alumni Advisory Board began looking for a site, and President Gaertner ultimately approved the area near the fountain, which was previously a material handling area for the LSC.
Engineer Gerald Harris designed plans to create the landmark that students and visitors can recognize. Hayes said the brick wall provides a dignified area for display of the memorial stones, while allowing a very prominent area on campus to honor the university's history.