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Rollings remembered with campus memorial

By Adam Troxtell
On September 16, 2011

With all of the construction and additions being made to the campus, the new site for a memorial dedicated to former student Rachel Erin Rollings is perhaps one of the more original changes.

Rachel's Garden, located between the Halladay Student Services Building and the Field House, was built over the summer. Rollings was an A&M-Commerce student in August of 2006 when she was killed in an automobile accident. The memorial is also dedicated to Britney Lipsey, another student killed in the same accident.

"The memorial is a gathering garden containing a seating area, beautiful landscaping, and water effects," Vice President of Advancement Randy VanDeven said. "The memorial will include a bronze sculpture of a mother lion leading and teaching her cubs, in honor or Rachel's goal to become a teacher."

Construction on the site began in the middle of last summer, and is set to be complete sometime this fall. The lioness sculpture, titled "The Teacher," is the only part of the memorial yet to be placed.

It is the second part of a gift from the Rollings family to A&M-Commerce. The first is the Rachel Rollings Scholarsip Endowment, which gives $10,000 to a sophomore, junior or senior studying education with at least one year complete at the university. The garden was also made with students in mind.

"Their desire was to create a place where students could pause and reflect," VanDeven said.

There will be a dedication ceremony once the memorial is complete, which VanDeven anticipates will occur later this semester.

For more on this story, check out next week's edition of The East Texan, which comes out on Thursday, Sept. 22.

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