Alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends of the College gathered Friday to dedicate the new William & Mary Memorial Garden.
Located in College Woods – just off the main path between Miller Hall and the Lake Matoaka Amphitheatre – the garden will serve as a final resting place for members of the William & Mary family "in all time coming," President Taylor Reveley said at the ceremony.
"With the dedication of this Memorial Garden, the campus can become a place of remembrance for all alumni and alumnae going forward who choose William & Mary as their final earthly home," Reveley said.
The garden was funded entirely through private donations, including gifts by Jack Garrett '40 and the Class of 1959's 50th reunion gift. In addition to Garrett, reunion gift chairs Jim Brinkley '59, Kathy Watson Lawler '59 and Earl "Tuggy" Young '59 were applauded during the dedication ceremony for their efforts in making the Memorial Garden a reality.
"We just loved doing it," said Lawler. "Our class got right behind it. It was a wonderful project, and we just thank everybody who participated."
Administered by the Alumni Association, the garden will be available to members of the William & Mary family who wish to have their ashes, or the ashes of their immediate family members, buried at the memorial site. A plaque on the surrounding brick wall will mark each person whose ashes are placed in the garden.
The centerpiece of the garden is a towering bronze sculpture of a dove, created by David Turner '83. Turner's sculptures appear all over campus, including Bald Eagles in the Sadler Center and Great Blue Heron and Marsh Wren in Crim Dell. Turner presented Garrett, who initially proposed the idea for the garden several years ago, with a small replica sculpture of the dove at the ceremony.
Reveley also unveiled a plaque commemorating the efforts of Garrett and his wife, Ann, and the Class of 1959. The Memorial Garden project, he said, echoed other memorials on campus, such as the small cemetery near Blow Memorial Hall or the crypt below the Wren Chapel.
"This Memorial Garden will become a sacred precinct on our ancient grounds, cherished for countless generations to come," Reveley said. "In the words of our Royal Charter, it is well to say, to be clear, that William & Mary's Memorial Garden will be supported and maintained in all time coming."
For more information about the William & Mary Memorial Garden, please contact Cindy Gillman at the Alumni Association at 757-221-1168 or firstname.lastname@example.org.