Remembrance Garden set to open with commemoration April 23
Monday, April 4, 2022
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For many years, the southeastern corner of Oklahoma State University’s campus was the first thing thousands of students saw as they arrived for college.
Back then, it was the entrance to campus as OSU initially grew around Old Central. As the years passed, the beautiful garden that was there disappeared, and the main entrance to campus moved westward.
On April 23, a Remembrance Garden will open to once again bring significance to the area. A special remembrance service will also take place to honor students and employees who have passed away in the past year.
The Murray Case Sells estate was the primary donor behind the Remembrance Garden, which a student government association committee planned as a place students, staff and families can relax and reflect.
“The Remembrance Garden is a tremendous, yet somber addition to campus,” said Dr. Doug Hallenbeck, OSU’s vice president for student affairs. “As a part of our culture of care, it is important to remember and celebrate those members of the Cowboy family that we lose every year. Additionally, the Remembrance Garden provides students, faculty and staff a quiet space to remember, meditate and reflect.”
Nickolis Ouellette, landscape design coordinator for OSU Facilities Management, said the highlight of the garden will be a water feature consisting of two reclaimed granite components: a millstone and runner stone estimated to be over 300 years old that were once used to grind grain.
“The beauty of these stones and the agricultural history of our university should provide for a great experience,” Ouellette said. “The phrase ‘Once a Cowboy, Always a Cowboy’ will also be engraved on the stone.”
Ouellette worked with David Peters in OSU’s Archives to see how the original campus entrance used to look as inspiration for the new garden’s design.
The area, which predated the Stillwater Fire Station that is there currently, used to have its own elaborate water feature, rock walls and a bench from the Class of 1912 that still sits there today.