First Ladies Garden to be dedicated at Homecoming

gardenOctober 21, 2015 | Women for Harding

The University is hosting a dedication ceremony for the First Ladies Garden at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, during Homecoming weekend. The garden will not only honor the past, present and future first ladies of Harding but also will recognize women who have made a difference at Harding.

The garden includes a technological feature that sends information about the area to mobile devices in range. Using Bluetooth and an app called Beaconsage, visitors of the garden can learn more about the five first ladies of the University and the history behind various spots of the garden.

“After you install the app, run it, and get within 100 meters of a beacon, the app will pop up a message that will take you to the Web page,” Assistant Vice President of Information Systems and Technology Mike Chalenburg said. “It actually behaves quite a bit like a QR code except you don’t take a picture.”

Women for Harding announced plans for the garden in April 2013 at their annual national council luncheon. Construction began this summer, and money for the project has been fundraised from almost exclusively female graduates.

The garden incorporates a water feature with a sculpture, a colonnade, benches, five distinct gardens for the first ladies, and a Legacy Wall of Honor with plaques commemorating women from Harding’s history. There are specific beacons installed in the distinct gardens for Woodson Armstrong, Sallie Benson, Louise Ganus, Leah Burks and Ann McLarty.

“The garden starts by Legacy Park and ends at the parking lot of Pattie Cobb women’s dorm,” said Liz Howell, vice president of parent and alumni relations. “Many people from the families are coming in to be a part of the ceremony to honor and remember the women who have sacrificed and made a difference.”

Legacy Park phase three will also be dedicated in this ceremony. For more information, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 501-279-4276.

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