UWG’s National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) garden has finally opened. The historical day took place on Oct. 14 at the Oaks Amphitheater.
The NPHC Garden will create a positive environment for NPHC organizations to unite, in efforts to promote their fraternities and sororities while educating students about the history of these diverse organizations.
The garden was made possible through the efforts of the Center for Diversity, Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, University Advancement, Campus Planning and Facilities, and the University of West Georgia’s National Pan-Hellenic Council.
The opening remarks were done by Dr. Xavier Whitaker who is the VP of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.
“Student leaders proposed the idea back in 2016 to Dr. Marrero,” said Whitaker.
He then went onto to say that the University of West Georgia is one of the few campuses throughout the state to have a garden to represent the NPHC. He then went on to say that the students chose the circle because it represents the completeness and the NPHC councils saw themselves as a complete whole.
The next remark was spoken by Dr. Michael Crafton who is the Interim President at UWG. He first stated that the grand opening of the garden marked the first moment of the 2019 Homecoming festivities.
“The garden allows the university to celebrate the university’s strong belief in inclusion and diversity,” Dr. Crafton said. “The garden will now serve as a meeting place to connect and serve as a new invitation for new students to learn about the NPHC as long as the stone lasts”.
In his closing remarks, he mentioned that he is blessed to celebrate radical improvement on campus.
“Honoring the history of black Greeks in Carrollton is huge,” said Dr. Yves-Rose Porcena, the Vice President for Equality and Inclusion at Agnes Scott College.
The garden symbolizes the contribution that the council has done off and on campus to help and support the community. Dr. Porcena went onto state that minority students have a place where they can feel that they belong.
Jordan Watson, who is an NPHC Alumni and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., presented the idea with fellow Alpha Phi Alpha member Wesley Hammonds to Dr. Kyle Marrero. He went onto to say how much it means for him to come back to UWG to see how all of the organizations are represented.
Wesley Hammonds was not able to make the grand opening as he is currently in China. He had prepared a speech that was read by his mother. In his speech Wesley was proud of that fact UWG is showing pride in all of the NPHC’s hard work on campus and giving back to the community.
“UWG embraces diversity, empowerment, inclusion, and it promotes community and belonging,” said Dr. Stacy Boyd, Interim Chief Diversity Officer. “The garden is a reminder to future wolves that UWG has a place for everyone.”
Leon Humphry Jr. is a graduate assistant and a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated.
“It’s an amazing thing how the garden shows unity, black history and culture, and the legacy of the Divine 9 as a whole” Humphry said. “When new students see something new, they tend to ask questions and it then leads them in the right way”.
In the closing remarks Dr. Xavier Whitaker informed everyone that in a few weeks another piece will be added to the garden. The information that will be added is the information that the organizations wanted the visitors to know about their organization.