Historic garden on WMC campus to flourish again

April 24, 1994

Western Maryland College's Class of 1994 has begun a campaign to refurbish the historic Robinson Garden near the center of campus, in a gesture that recalls the garden's origins in the early 1920s.

Led by the 19-member Senior Class Gift Committee, the college's seniors have pledged nearly half their $2,500 goal.

That amount is based on a challenge by an anonymous donor who promised to match that amount if it is raised by students, or if they reach a participation rate of 55 percent of the senior class.

Current plans call for relandscaping the green space and installing new plants, benches and a plaque.

Robinson Garden was created in 1922 by Margaret Robinson, then dean of women at Western Maryland. When McDaniel Hall was completed that year, Miss Robinson decided to transform the open area behind the combination residence hall and lounge into a modest garden of annuals, which was gradually expanded with students' help over several years.

After her retirement in 1930, others took over the task, adding shrubbery, trees, garden furniture, a sundial and a wishing well.

In 1934, the administration dedicated the contemplative setting to Miss Robinson. A plaque in her honor was placed on McDaniel Hall, and she often visited the site when she was on campus.

In the decades since then, the garden lost its popularity and deteriorated.

College officials expect that the senior class gift will restore the garden to its former state, to provide students and others with a place to study and relax.

Information: 857-2294.

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