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More Beautiful Than Ever

Friday, September 18, 2015

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Dear Tulane Community:

The View from Gibson has been loud, muddy and wet lately as workers have labored, sometimes in the rain, pulling up the sidewalks and erecting a large construction fence around the back steps of Gibson Hall.

As you make your way around this site, you may be wondering what is going on here. The answer dates back 28 years to Leigh Kirsten Flexner, a Tulane student who died in a tragic car accident in 1987 at the age of 20.

After her passing, Leigh's parents, Lynne and Donald Flexner, dedicated a space behind Gibson Hall to her memory. A plaque stood for many years at this location as a memorial to their daughter on the campus she loved so much during a far too brief but happy season of her young life.

Now, the Flexners have decided to enlarge this tribute to their daughter with the Leigh Kirsten Flexner Patio and Gardens. This beautiful space will include stone paving, benches and a garden filled with flowers of purple and red hues, Leigh's favorites.

This act of love and devotion will honor Leigh in a more meaningful, visible and permanent way. It will also create a place for current students and Tulanians of all generations to gather, read, rest and reflect under a canopy of oaks in the midst of our historic academic quad.

Most of us never knew Leigh—a bright and inquisitive student in the best tradition of Tulane—but we are all grateful to her family for sharing her legacy with us and making The View from Gibson more beautiful than ever.

Our campuses are full of such tributes to people who loved Tulane and are forever linked to their alma mater through such acts of devotion. The master campus planning process currently underway seeks to create an environment that supports similar endeavors in the future so that we can all connect more deeply to the past and to one another.

Signature of Mike Fitts