Remembrance Garden An SCSU Reflection Garden area of compassion
This unique outdoor space is part of the larger vision of the SCSU Reflection Garden — a first-of-its-kind physical expression of a university’s social justice principles, created through intentional design.
While the Reflection Garden vision embodies the five core values identified by SCSU President Joe Bertolino and embraced by the university community, the Remembrance Garden shall be known as an Area of Compassion.
The focal point of the Remembrance Garden is the SCSU Alumnae Sandy Hook Memorial.
This wooden sculpture honors four educators and graduates of Southern.
- Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, M.S. ’97, 6th Yr. ’98,
- Anne Marie Murphy, M.S. ’08,
- Mary J. Sherlach, M.S. ’90, 6th Yr. ’92,
- Victoria Leigh Soto, ’13,
They were exemplars for the children they taught and supported, and for the SCSU family of faculty, staff, students, graduates, and neighbors. These four alumnae were killed during the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.
The Remembrance Garden and the memorial were designed and created during a 14-month process that included open dialogues with students, faculty, staff, and members of the local community. The memorial is the result of the conceptual design developed by Carlene Barnes, ’13, while she was an SCSU student, and was selected in a juried competition.
Dedicated in May 2018, the Remembrance Garden stands as an expression of philanthropic and community participation. Dr. Rita A. Landino, ’64, Emeritus of Counseling Services, provided significant philanthropic support for this garden area to make the SCSU Alumnae Sandy Hook Memorial a reality. Many others helped make this project possible through pro bono service, contribution of materials, philanthropic support, and participation in planning activities.
Step inside the space, sit, ponder, pay tribute to Southern’s four alumnae, think and talk about making the world a better place, starting here — or just let your mind wander. As Ms. Barnes intended through her design, physical spaces and art can inspire us and help bring us together. As you pass over the delta shaped stones, remember that positive change and support for others can begin with small steps.
In the News
2017 Visioning Sessions
On March 1, 2017, Southern hosted three visioning sessions led by internationally known landscape designer Julie Moir Messervy and two of her team members. Over 100 people participated in the visioning process before, during and after this important day. Separate sessions allowed various constituents to provide their perspective and influence on the design process.
Through Julie’s helpful guidance, the three core visioning sessions explored ideas about expressing core values of social justice through a physical space, the ways our campus and neighbors could connect to the garden spaces, as well as the overall flow and experiences that might someday be available within the RG.
Your Support Matters
With the installation of the Remembrance Garden in 2018, your continued support will help ensure longevity of the space through appropriate maintenance and will assist with other projects to help strengthen the campus environment. Your contribution serves as a strong vote of confidence in this bold vision. Donations will be used for expenses associated with maintaining, designing, sharing, and implementation of the SCSU Reflection Garden.
As part of the SCSU Reflection Garden community, you are involved in supporting students, faculty, staff, and neighbors by advancing opportunities for reflection in an intellectually, emotionally, and socially supportive space.
Please note that contributions to this project are provided to the SCSU Foundation.
Membership of the Council and Committees
Barbara Shiller (Faculty Emeritus)
Benson Chan (Student)
Bill Faraclas (co-chair)
Charlie Matassa (Community)
Cindy Simoneau (Faculty)
Cliff Chieffo (Alumnus)
Craig Hlavac (Associate Dean)
Denise Zack (Staff)
Dian Brown-Albert (Staff)
Ellen Cohen (Alumna)
Gwen Wood Emery (Community)
Jim Barber (Staff)
Josephine Ankrah (Student)
Julio Badillo (Student)
Kari Swanson (Librarian Faculty)
Liz Marsh (Student)
Louise Shaw (Faculty)
Louise Spear-Swerling (Faculty)
Margaret Generali (Faculty)
Maria Diamantis (Faculty)
Melissa Talhelm (Faculty)
Mike Shea (Faculty)
Patrick Dilger (Staff)
Peter Madonia (Faculty)
Rebecca Silady (Faculty)
Richard Glasson (Staff)
Rita Landino (Faculty Emeritus)
Rosalyn Amenta (Staff / Adjunct Faculty)
Scott Graves (Faculty)
Stephen Amerman (Faculty)
Suzie Huminski (Staff / Adjunct Faculty)
Tracy Tyree (Administration)