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Remarks given by Florence Andersen '57 at the
Dedication of the Alumni Memorial Garden
June 5, 2005

Good Morning, Ladies and Gentlemen:  

Thank you for attending Skidmore College’s dedication of the Alumni Memorial Garden.

From William Wordsworth’s beautiful and meaningful poem “Imitations of Immortality,” on this day of dedication:

“Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendor in the grass, Of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind…
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind."

statueThree years ago at the class of 1957's 45th graduation anniversary, four of us resolved to create on this spot a place of remembrance and contemplation, honoring the memory of deceased alumni and friends of Skidmore College. For us four it has been a labor of love. Please meet my three classmates and dear friends who contributed so much of their talent, time and toil to bring the Alumni Memorial Garden's dreams to reality:

Joining us in their mission were other alumni who added immeasurably to the beauty of this garden. If ours was a labor of love, theirs was a demonstrable expression of love through various art forms, honoring deceased alumni:

Skidmore is very blessed to have exceptionally competent and knowledgeable staff, who guided and encouraged us throughout this project:

urnBesides the professional staff, we had the help of family members – planting, weeding, watering and taking pictures:

Betty Hewitt's husband Ed
Mary O'Meara Storrs's husband Ted
Bill Baumann, my nephew
And our honorary chair of this committee and Skidmore's first lady, Marie Glotzbach

And so too is our appreciation extended to the many alumni and friends of the  College who provided financial assistance in remembrance of those deceased alumni who contributed in large and small ways to Skidmore's promise, character and vision.

From 2002 until 10 days ago we stripped the area of overgrown rose bushes, yews, greenery, weeds and weeds and more weeds. With the area cleared, we began the process of embracing the cycle of life theme for this garden.

There is a flowering plant blooming by the cobblestone of 2005. Two days before graduation the president of '05 and the president elect of '06 joined me in welcoming '05 to the garden. It will be a tradition that each succeeding senior class president will plant flowers before graduation at that class's stone.

The Alumni Memorial Garden is Skidmore's acknowledgement of its love for its cherished and beloved deceased alumni and friends of the college. This day of dedication, June 5, 2005, of this place of contemplation and remembrance is the realization of Wordsworth's ";Of splendor in the grass, Of glory in the flowers."

 


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