UA Serenity Garden offers respite and remembers slain nursing student

Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 10:55 PM CST
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Nursing students at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa have an unusual outlet to relieve stress. Just mere feet from the Capstone College of Nursing Building on campus is the serenity garden.

It’s much more than a garden to rest the mind, but a place to reflect and honor a student who met a tragic end. The garden is designed in such a way to relieve the mind and the soul from the noise of world.

“Everyday when I look out and see people on the labyrinth, it makes my heart happy,” said Dr. Amy Lee, Clinical Professor of Nursing at Capstone College Of Nursing.

Opened one year ago along with the expansion of the nursing school, the labyrinth was made possible by Dr. Linda Olivet and her husband.

“And it’s something I hope would be meaningful,” said Dr. Olivet.

The school invited the couple to be part of the project, ‘nursing’ it along to reality.

“The plaque here describes how.. gives you an idea how best to use it. I come over here quite often on Sundays and will walk the labyrinth myself,” Dr. Olivet said.

“A powerful experience,” Dr. Lee said.

In the center of it all there is a memorial to Marilyn K. Mitchell. Murdered when she was just 22 years ago in Dothan in May of 1990, Mitchell had just graduated with a nursing degree from the university three days before.

Marilyn Mitchell
Marilyn Mitchell(Capstone College of Nursing/UA)

“When I returned here in 2018 it was on my heart to remember Marilyn. I realized there were so many other friends, families and colleagues and classmates from the Capstone College of Nursing that also needed to be remembered,” said Dr. Lee.

Peace and remembrance coming together in the Meditation Labyrinth.

A jury convicted Artez Hammonds in the crime and remains on death row.

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