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Taking Time to Reflect

October 26, 2023

Campus meditation gardens encourage visitors to practice mindfulness

Rowland Meditation Garden
Westhampton Sculpture Garden

University of Richmond's bustling campus features many state-of-the-art facilities to support world-class mentoring, teaching, and research. For those in need of a quiet sanctuary, there is a campus-wide network of meditation gardens that offer tranquil settings for contemplation and relaxation.
Tom Roberts, who retired earlier this year as associate vice president, Health and Well-Being, began this initiative as a collaboration between University Facilities and Recreation and Wellness. “The gardens we picked were centrally located but also a quiet space for anyone who wants to take the time to meditate and reflect,” said Allison Moyer, UR’s horticulturist and associate director, landscape services.

As the University’s wellness hub, the Well-Being Center serves as the trailhead of the garden path. Moyer said her team hopes to transition the gardens at The Refectory and Keller Hall into meditation spaces in the future.
Rowland Meditation Garden
The Well-Being Center was established in 2021 through the generous support of UR trustees, alumni, parents, and friends. Among its many wellness offerings is the Rowland Meditation Garden given by Patricia Little Rowland, W’77, GB’81, and Philip Rowland, B’74, GB’81. The alcoves in the meditation garden are equipped with color changing light for light therapy, which can affect brain chemicals linked to mood and sleep. The indoor space also features a moss wall, reflexology rock path, and a gratitude box to collect notes of thanks from visitors. 
Garden of Five Lions
Located outside the main entrance to Weinstein Hall, the Garden of Five Lions was built in 2003 as a gift from Philip Weinstein, brother of Marcus Weinstein, R’49, H’02, whose lead gift funded the establishment of Weinstein Hall. John Hoogakker, former associate vice president for facilities, selected five lions to be hidden throughout the garden as a scavenger hunt for visitors. The garden’s bubbling fountain creates a calm atmosphere, and in 2021, a large stone seat and a pebble stone walkway were added to offer an ideal meditation space. 
Westhampton Sculpture Garden
The Westhampton College Dean’s Office, also known as the Deanery, has been part of campus since 1925 when it was built as a private home for May L. Keller, the first dean of Westhampton College. The adjoining Charles Gillette-designed garden was given by Hannah L. Coker, W’23, in memory of James T. Buck, University landscape architect from 1969 to 1984. In 2022, the garden was transformed into a meditation space with the addition of student-made sculpture art, soma stone seating, and aromatic plant varieties.
To learn more about this initiative, contact Allison Moyer, horticulturist and associate director, landscape services, at 804-289-8605 or