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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

A legacy takes root

Martha’s Garden will be located between the back of the Olin building and Lesesne dorm.
Martha’s Garden will be located between the back of the Olin building and Lesesne dorm.

By: Katie Sanders, Staff Writer

A memorial garden has joined the college’s list of projects that are underway here on campus. Although a smaller project in comparison to the new Greek Village and arts center, the garden holds significance for certain members of the Wofford community. The outdoor space will be a memorial for alumna Martha Cammack, who passed away during homecoming weekend two years ago. Martha’s family plans to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony during homecoming this fall.

Cammack, class of 2013, was an environmental studies major, an outdoor enthusiast, the Chief Financial Officer for the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, a member of RUF and a lover of the Sandor Teszler library. This space will be the embodiment of the legacy she left at Wofford. Various wooden benches will serve as a meeting spot for academic, social and creative events. Surrounded by flowers and trees, it will also be a space for simply enjoying the beauty of campus. The creation of this space in honor of Cammack was the idea of fellow Kappa Alpha Theta member Victoria Biggers.

The idea came to Biggers soon after her initiation into Theta. At that time she was a new member who had missed sharing campus with Cammack by one year. “It was hard for me and my whole pledge class to see, because after initiation you fall in love with these girls. To see them grieving from losing a friend was so hard.”

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While searching for a way to support her upperclassmen sisters, Biggers imagined creating an outdoor space in Cammack’s memory.

“One of the reasons I came to Wofford was because the campus is so beautiful. It is absolutely gorgeous, but there’s not a place to spend time that’s in nature. There are tables outside the library and a bench here or there, but there’s not a space that encompasses nature. I was walking with a friend one day and I said, ‘what if we created a garden space and made it in memory of Martha?’”

From there she began the process of pitching her idea.

“It was hard to come in with a project not knowing who to take it to. The most difficult stage was moving through the ranks of approval- having to learn that structure of who to contact to see what’s next. Each time we got approval, it immediately went to ‘who’s next, who do we need to contact?’”

“It’s been a crazy journey, and it didn’t come with out delays. I understand that when I come and bring this idea, especially with all that’s going on right now at Wofford, it’s easy for it to get put on the back of somebody’s desk. Who am I as a student to say, ‘you’re trying to build a new basketball arena, Greek Village and fine arts center, but I want to build this little garden?’”

While there were setbacks at times, Biggers says she was fortunate to have people like Ryan McCall, coordinator of marketing and communications, Andrew McCall, the architect behind the plans and Dean Wallace helping her along the way. They managed to raise the first half of funding, $10,000, in less than a month via After realizing there was an interest in larger donations, they created their own website. The remaining half came in right on time with the fundraising deadline of Sept. 1.

Supplies have been ordered, so the next step for Biggers is planning the dedication ceremony. As far as management of the site, she says she wants it to be a communal effort.

“Initially, we see Theta managing the space, but I want to integrate that. We’ve had a lot of different groups come forward and say they would love to help. The grounds crew will do weeding and watering, but if the bricks need to be repainted or if flowers can be planted, each group on campus can participate- like RUF, or the Library staff, or the Environmental Studies Department. Anyone that knew Martha knew that she didn’t limit herself to one thing. She always wanted to meet new people. I would love other organizations, whether they knew Martha or not, to take ownership.”

While Biggers wants to see different groups take ownership of the garden, she reiterates its importance to campus as a whole.

“My goal is that people won’t think of this as a Theta thing, but a Wofford thing. Even when I’m gone, it will be a Wofford space to memorialize Martha. It’s not that she was a Theta, or in RUF or part of the environmental studies department – it’s that she was a student here at Wofford who was involved like all the other students here.”

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  • J

    Jim RotherySep 23, 2015 at 10:46 am

    I am writing this comment with a rather large lump in my throat. I did not personally know
    Martha but I know her father. And I know how much he loved and misses her. Like the movie
    “It’s Wonderful LIfe” – we never know how much we affect people until it’s almost too late.
    What you are doing in honor of Martha honors all of you. We are all in this together and it
    certainly helps to know that we love and care for each other for now and for always!
    Congratulations to all who have been involved and to all who will be. Jim Rothery

  • L

    luciecam3Sep 22, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    Thank you so much for a wonderful article about Martha’s Garden. Martha loved and lived all things Wofford! And I’m sure she is probably a little embarrassed in Heaven right now! However, the rest of us here on Earth are looking forward to a beautiful dedication in October. I know I speak for all of the Cammacks in saying thank you to all who have contributed to this amazing project! A BIG shout out to Victoria, Ryann, Andrew and all the others who have put so much love and effort into Martha’s Garden. Looking forward to Homecoming 2015!!!
    Mother Luce (Martha’s mom)