Memorial garden dedicated for graduates’ remains

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September 6, 2010

11:31 PM

The College of William and Mary dedicated a new memorial garden for alumni Aug. 27.

The William and Mary Memorial Garden joins the crypt beneath the Wren Building and the cemetery near Blow Memorial Hall as a monument for remembering passed alumni. For those alumni who wish to have their final resting place at the College, their ashes, or the ashes of their close family members, can be buried in the garden.

“[The memorial garden] will become a sacred precinct on our ancient grounds, cherished for countless generations to come … supported and maintained in all time coming,” College President Taylor Reveley said.
The dedication ceremony attendees included Reveley, Jack Garret ’40, Jim Brinkley ’59, Kathy Watson Lawler ’59 and Earl Young ’59, as well as staff, faculty and students.

Private donations, including a significant gift from the class of 1959 in honor of its 50th Reunion, in addition to an individual donation from Garrett, funded the garden’s construction. At the dedication, Reveley presented the class of 1959 and Garrett with plaques commemorating their contribution.

“The campus can become a place of remembrance for all alumni and alumnae going forward,” Reveley said.

After an initial proposal for the gardens from Garrett, the class of 1959 supported the project, which took several years to construct.

“We just loved doing it,” Lawler said.

About the size of the Blow Memorial Hall cemetery, the memorial garden, located in the College Woods between Alan B. Miller Hall and the Lake Matoaka Amphitheater, has a bronze sculpture of a dove, signifying peace and renewal of life, as its centerpiece.

The dove was created by Dave Turner ’83, whose sculptures of bald eagles, herons and a wren can also be found around campus in both the Sadler Center and the Crim Dell.

Turner presented a small sculpture of a dove to Garrett at the dedication ceremony.

Alumni who choose to have their ashes buried in the garden will have their names engraved on a plaque located on the brick wall that surrounds the garden.

The Wren Chapel’s crypt currently holds the remains of several important College and historical figures, including John Randolph, Bishop James Madison and Norborne Berkeley, 4th Baron Botetourt.

Established in 1859, the Blow Memorial Hall cemetery is designed for use by professors and their families, as well as students.

The new memorial garden will only be used as a final resting place for College alumni.

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