Brookhaven completes Donor Garden honoring current, former employees


Brandon Donner

Suzette Vaquera, college recruiment and outreach coordinator at Brookhaven, observes the names on the newly installed Donor Garden between A B and U buildings Aug. 25.

Cade Harris and Brandon Donner

Dallas College Brookhaven Campus has a new garden for students, staff and faculty to enjoy. After breaking ground in May 2019, the donor garden at Brookhaven Campus is finished.

The garden is the green space between A, B and U buildings.

The idea for the garden was brought up in 2018 during the Employee Giving Campaign inspired in part by the 40th anniversary for Brookhaven. At the time, employees who donated $78 to the campaign had a brick reserved with their name engraved on it for the garden. There are 157 engraved bricks in the garden. It cost $140,000 to complete the donor garden.  

The donor garden is providing excitement for employees across Brookhaven Campus who are able to see their names and those of current and former colleagues on the bricks. “Like many Brookhaven Campus employees who have served the students at this Dallas College location for many years, I look forward to seeing the names displayed in the doner garden,” Carole Sakach, senior administrative assistant, said. 

“I’m very excited,” Sylvia Wise, director of alumni strategy for Dallas College, said.

“While memorializing using bricks or plaques is not unique, maintaining the named stones in one place increases its impact and provides visual support for the many people who have been a part of this institution and its leaders such as our former and current presidents, who are responsible for the eventual completion of the garden,” Sakach said. 

“This will be the first donor bonding of its kind at Brookhaven Campus, so that in itself makes it unique,” Wise said. “The other thing that makes it unique was that people were able to be a part of ways to commemorate the 40th anniversary.”

Wise was quick to credit Tom Chesney, former Brookhaven College president, for coming up with the idea for the donor garden. “Tom played a pivotal role as far as coming up with this idea and putting his thoughts out there like, let’s do something for our 40th anniversary.” 

“I appreciate the donors who contributed to student scholarships as well as the employees who ran that fundraising campaign in conjunction with the college’s 40th anniversary, including Sylvia Wise who still works for Dallas College,” Linda Braddy, Brookhaven Campus president, said. I appreciate our entire facilities crew for their efforts installing the garden. Many of our Brookhaven Campus employees have expressed similar appreciation for the work.”

Braddy said she would like to see students proactively work to help keep the new garden, as well as the campus clean and litter free. “Something as simple as ensuring your trash actually lands in the trash can instead of on the ground makes a big difference,” Braddy said. “We have a beautiful campus, and our grounds crew works hard every day to maintain and improve it, so my wish is that both students and employees do all they can to contribute to its beauty.”