Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Brothers and Sisters in the Garden

Me in my letters!
Something about me that many of you might not know is that I'm a brother of the National Honorary Band Fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi. At many universities, this organization is coed, as is our sister sorority, Tau Beta Sigma. KKPsi and TBS have been brother and sister organizations since 1947 and many schools have both that work together on various projects. TBS was founded to promote equality and diversity in university bands, including empowering women in the band profession, develop leadership, etc. KKPsi, similarly, is a service fraternity and our main purpose is to promote university bands through many different kinds of service projects, rewarding outstanding musicianship of students involved in bands and providing other services for the bands of their college. Unlike many other Greek organizations, we're a dry fraternity, we don't have houses, and we don't even use the term "pledge" or "rush" due to the strictness of   our no-hazing policy. 
So why am I talking about band fraternities and sororities on my blog?
Last year on October 16th, our sister sorority Tau Beta Sigma lost their founder, Wava Bates Turner Henry, fondly known as simply "Wava". On March 8th, the national headquarters of TBS announced that, in memory of Wava, a memorial rose garden would be built and dedicated to her. I found this quite fitting as the Oklahoma Rose is the OK state flower. This garden would be located at our national headquarters facilities in Stillwater, Oklahoma. In an email from TBS Board of Trustees they said, "The plans will include a black granite pedestal dedicated to Wava, reflection benches, a rose garden and other garden flowers and shrubs..." They intend for the garden to be put in place next year and unveiled officially in July of 2014.

The Oklahoma Rose is a hybrid tea rose developed at Oklahoma State University. 
(Funnily enough, KKPsi was founded at this school as well!)

Maybe it's just my inner plant lover, but I feel that memorial gardens are some of the most special spaces. Although there's sadness in knowing that the memorial is there for a person or people who've passed, there's beauty in seeing how life thrives despite that. A garden reminds us that life is always growing, whether it's people, organizations like TBS and KKPsi, or plants. I'm so glad Tau Beta Sigma chose this idea as a way to remember a very special lady.

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