A focal point of River Campus activity has received a major facelift, thanks to the generosity of a University of Rochester trustee, and will be dedicated Friday, Sept. 8, during Convocation ceremonies welcoming students back to the College.
The newly named Dandelion Square, which links the Robert B. Goergen Athletic Center, the Frederick Douglass Building, and Wilson Commons, will serve as a major connecting pathway from Library Road to the center of campus. Over the summer, the area was enhanced with new walkways, trees, black iron benches, lighting, and a clock tower.
Major donations to the project came from Graham Wood Smith, a University alumnus and trustee, who with his family has supported many campus landscaping initiatives.
"Dandelion Square provides a pleasing, friendly environment to encourage a sense of community on campus," said President Thomas H. Jackson. "It creates an attractive and functional gathering place that will be enjoyed by visitors as well as students, faculty, and staff. We are grateful to the Smith family for all of their ongoing support for beautifying the campus."
Graham Wood Smith is an attorney in Orchard Park, N.Y., and also serves as the president of the George Graham Smith and Elizabeth Galloway Smith Foundation, Inc. He received his bachelor's degree in English from the University in 1953. His father, mother, two aunts, and an uncle also graduated from the University. The elder Smith supported campus landscaping projects both with financial support and with personal supervision. Donations from Graham Smith and his mother, Elizabeth Galloway Smith, funded improvements and maintenance of the lawns and flower beds on and near the Eastman Quadrangle.
Friday's ceremonies begin at noon and will include the unveiling of inscriptions honoring the Smith family at the brick gateway entrance to Dandelion Square, and presentation of artists' renderings of the site to Graham Smith.
The dandelion is the school flower. A golden dandelion overlooks the square from atop the entrance to the Goergen Athletic Center, and is on a medallion underneath the 30-foot clock tower that flanks the southern end of Dandelion Square.