Cementing the College’s past with its present future

On Oct. 29, the open space between the New Library and Eickhoff Hall was dedicated as the Alumni Grove. College President R. Barbara Gitenstein and Greg Bellotti, president of the TCNJ Alumni Association, both spoke in dedicating the College landmark, which Gitenstein said is “directly in the heart of campus life,” which is why that location was chosen.

During the ceremony, College alumni helped Gitenstein unveil an Alumni Stone, which reads “To Commemorate 150 Years of Excellence.” It was donated by the Alumni Association, and is intended to become the centerpiece for the new Alumni Grove.

Inlaid in the cement around the grove are commemorative bricks which have been purchased by alumni. Each brick displays a name or special message from its owner. Although only about 150 bricks have been placed so far, there is room for hundreds more to accommodate future alumni.

During the dedication, Bellotti noted that the Alumni Association created the grove in order to give something back to the students of the College who will one day be alumni themselves. The Alumni Association hopes that the grove will become a central gathering place for current students as well as alumni, he said.

Because the grove is centrally located between the New Library and Eickhoff Dining Hall, he said it is a great area for students to relax or do school work in an outdoor setting. The Alumni Association plans to install wireless Internet in the grove so students can enjoy the surroundings while still working on their laptops.

Gitenstein said the Alumni Grove is “the perfect symbol between the past, present and future,” as she hopes it will be enjoyed by alumni and students alike for many years to come.