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Students raise funds for Memorial Courtyard

Two student organizations are helping to further enhance and beautify Binghamton University’s new Memorial Courtyard as a place of remembrance and quiet serenity.

The courtyard opened last fall with a tribute to the 15 alumni lost in the attacks of September 11, 2001. It will eventually serve as a place for all members of the BU community to be remembered and honored by their loved ones. The flowers, trees and other plantings, the benches and pergola, much of the landscaping design fees and the granite memorial were funded by private donations, including more than $8,000 given by last year’s graduating senior class.

This year, both the Class of 2003 and their parents and the Graduate Student Organization (GSO) are supporting the courtyard with major gifts. The Class of 2003 has raised more than $6,000 so far to purchase a new arbor for the garden. The remainder of the funds will support a scholarship endowment begun by graduating seniors in 1993, according to Melinda Holicky, director of the Binghamton Fund, the University’s annual giving program.

The GSO, meanwhile, donated $1,000 for general development and support of the Memorial Courtyard.

“It is a very worthy cause and we felt we owe this to the community — that we have to give something back,” said GSO President Volkan Aytar, a doctoral student in urban sociology and a friend of Paul Battaglia ’00, one of the alumni killed in the World Trade Center.

Duncan Omune, a PhD student in chemistry and GSO president-elect, agreed. “Most things the GSO does are student-oriented,” he said, “but this affects the whole campus. It shows solidarity and outreach for us as well as the whole community.”
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Last Updated: 10/14/08