East Carolina University students are urged to vote by April 30 for one of three sculptures that will stand as the centerpiece of a new memorial garden honoring students who have died during the semester.
The ECU Student Memorial Garden, which is close to completion, is located between the Erwin Building and Ledonia Wright Cultural Center. The selected sculpture will be cast nine feet high and placed in the garden after students have identified their preference through One Stop voting.
ECU art students Michael Dodson, Jonathan Burger and Trey Martin created the sculptures, on display on the main floor of Mendenhall Student Center.
Burger created the Dogwood Memorial, described as a steel tree with stainless steel dogwood flowers that signify memory of the departed, with a bronze bowl where students may place flowers and remembrances. Dodson created Continuance, which shows a new tree growing from the stump of a fallen tree to represent the continuation of life and wisdom. Martin created Broken Circle with Doves, a bronze circle that transforms into three doves watching over the students and daily life on campus.
ECU Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Virginia Hardy came up with the idea of a garden following the death of a student who served in the military. She worked with University Landscape Architect John Gill and Facilities Services to develop the concept.
Hardy contacted Michael Dorsey, interim dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication, for help in soliciting student sculptures. Art students were asked to submit scupltures that would be appropriate in “an area of meditation, relaxation, serenity and calmness,” Hardy said.
The Student Government Association is paying for the garden work, while Student Affairs is covering the cost of the sculpture contest and the final product.
An opening ceremony will be held when the garden is complete.