Stories

Celebrating the Garen Peace Garden and Fountain

A Place of Quiet

    A restored stone fountain with a new terraced garden has been embraced by students, staff, faculty, and alumni as a place on campus for gathering or reflection.

    Kathy Garen and Nazareth Trustee Frank York, who funded the garden, hope it provides a place of peace and well-being. Garen, her three sisters, and their families named it Garen Peace Garden in honor of their parents, Jim and Judy Garen.

    Kathy Garen spoke at the dedication in September 2017, sharing thoughts from her father: "When you think of seeds, they are often so tiny, they can fit in the palm of your hand. Given the right environment, they can grow and thrive. In this age of frantic change, it is good to have a place of quiet, where one can stop and contemplate. It is also good to have a place where all people can gather as a community. This garden is the ideal setting to celebrate the community we are all a part of. It is a wonderful place that we hope brings you a sense of peace and well-being."

    The fountain was built in the first half of the 20th century by a mason hired by Nazareth's founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph. The mason brought fieldstone of varied sizes from an old barn on French Road to create the rustic concrete-lined fountain pond in the southwest lawn of the Motherhouse, now the Golisano Academic Center.

    Over the years, the fountain fell into disuse. Dirt and debris collected, resulting in tree saplings growing through cracked concrete. The fountain was rediscovered in 1989 and the grounds crew became intrigued and worked for nearly a decade in their spare time to restore the fountain. But within a year or two of operation, the fountain again was abandoned — until restoration in the spring and summer of 2017.

    Today, the Garen Peace Garden warmly greets visitors as they enter campus via North Campus Drive. For the Nazareth community, it provides a beautiful and serene setting for outside classes, informal student gatherings, small concerts, and quiet moments of study or reflection.

    Video created by Emily Teator '19 and Chris Baker '07.