College Celebrates Legacy Garden with ‘Brick Placing’

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Betty Jo Ward places the engraved brick in the College of Health Professions Legacy Garden.

May 13, 2014 | The new Legacy Garden on the College of Health Professions grounds took on new life April 30 when several who purchased engraved bricks for the garden got to pick where the bricks would be placed.

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Betty Jo Ward (center), widow of late UAMS Chancellor Harry Ward, M.D., College of Health Professions Dean Douglas Murphy, Ph.D. (left) and Dean Emeritus Ronald Winters, Ph.D., show off the Legacy brick purchased in the late chancellor’s memory for the College of Health Professions Legacy Garden.

The first brick to be placed during the “Brick Placement Party” honored the memory of a former UAMS chancellor, the late Harry P. Ward, M.D. It was purchased by former college dean Ronald Winters, Ph.D., who was on hand as Ward’s widow Betty Jo Ward selected a spot for the engraved brick near the fountain.

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Faculty members in the college’s physician assistant program show the brick purchased in honor of the program’s inaugural class that was placed in front of the program’s building.

“This is really nice and it always feels good to visit UAMS,” Ward said. “Harry saw the importance of the College of Health Professions to UAMS and to the state and I’m happy to see him honored here.”

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Faculty members and alumni Lisa Rhoden and John Callaway display Legacy bricks they bought for themselves and bricks purchased in memory of late faculty member Joe Bittengle.

Ward, who died in 2008, was chancellor from 1979-2000.

“Dr. Ward was a transformative figure in the history of UAMS and was an ardent supporter of the College of Health Professions,” said Winters, dean emeritus for the college.

About 160 of the laser-engraved have been purchased for the garden so far. There are an estimated 4,700 locations available. Net proceeds from brick purchases support student scholarships in the college. Click here to purchase a brick.

The recently renovated 2,000-square foot courtyard, between to the college’s Student Study Center and the building that houses the physician assistant program, features brick pavers that will be replaced with the engraved bricks as they are purchased. The first engraved bricks had names of students, faculty, supporters and shout-outs to many of the college’s programs.

“The courtyard will be a nice place for students, faculty and staff to relax and get outside when the weather is nice and is a good way to honor those who support scholarships in the college,” said Dean Douglas Murphy, Ph.D. “We’re planning a formal dedication of the garden this fall and look forward to hosting periodic brick-placing celebrations in the future.”

The UAMS Physician Assistant Program was among those purchasing bricks. The two bricks, placed near their building, recognized the program’s inaugural class and the Blue & You Foundation, which has awarded the program more than $200,000 in grants toward developing the program and raising awareness of the profession in the state.

Two bricks honored the memory of late radiologic imaging sciences division director Joseph Bittengle, who was killed in a 2008 robbery outside his apartment.

The 72,000-square-foot complex of buildings has been home to the College of Health Professions since 2009. Included are three landscaped courtyards: the two identical, smaller courtyards that are the Legacy Garden and the Study Garden that was renovated and dedicated in 2010.

The larger courtyard, in the center of the complex, has hosted the college’s Courtyard Carnival as well as a UAMS-wide Memorial Day event. College leaders hope that one day the courtyard could feature a covered pavilion with power connections, making it an even more attractive and useful location for outdoor events by the college and UAMS.