April 11, 2011 6:15:00 AM
Family, friends and members of the extended community at Mississippi University for Women in Columbus will gather Friday, April 15, to dedicate the Dorabel Craig Memorial Garden. The ceremony to honor Dorabel Moore Craig, Class of 1938, will take place at 1:30 p.m.
For more than 60 years, Craig was a loyal supporter of MUW. She served as a member of the MUW Alumnae Board of Directors for three years. She fostered support for The W as president of the Jackson Metro MUW Alumnae Chapter and the Golden Girls Club of MUW in the late 1980s, and shared her special gift of arranging flowers for nearly every function for the Jackson chapter.
It is the combination of those two loves, flowers and MUW, that led Craig''s three children to suggest a garden in her honor after she passed away in 2002.
"If there was one thing that mother was consistently passionate about during her life, it was The W," said daughter Mary Craig Kennamer (''68). "My sister and I both received our college education there in the late 1960s."
The quarter of an acre common space is at the heart of MUW''s inner campus, bordered on one side by the Mary Wilson Home and winding along LL & C Lane and MSCW Drive. A perpetual fountain is at the center of the garden, surrounded by walkways and ringed by Amur Maple trees and Leland Cypress. Perennial plantings include holly, dwarf yaupon, encore azaleas and knockout roses.
MUW Interim President Allegra Brigham, said, "MUW is so honored to have this wonderful garden memorializing Mrs. Craig, an alum who supported this university in so many ways. It is also significant that her daughters, Laurie and Mary, followed in their mother''s footsteps and graduated from MUW. And now, together with their brother John, have chosen to preserve their mother''s love of this unique university in this beautiful garden, which is quickly becoming a favorite spot on our campus."
Dr. Gary Bouse, vice president for institutional advancement at MUW added, "Dorabel Craig was a gracious and loyal supporter of MUW. For years, she also gave her time and her enthusiasm. This garden will allow our students, faculty and alumni to enjoy her spirit for years to come."
An avid gardener, Craig served as president of Lakeview Garden Club and chairman of the Fragrance Garden at Mississippi School for the Blind. Her knack for flowers and floral styling took her from the Governor''s Mansion to the sanctuary at Leavell Woods United Methodist Church, where her skills were often in demand.
Dorabel Craig was married to the late James W. Craig. Together they established Forestry Suppliers Inc. The two grew the company from a small room in their home to a world-wide mail resource company.
The Craig''s three children, Mary Craig Kennamer (''68), Laurie Craig Gwatney (''69) and John Craig, will attend the dedication ceremony.
The garden dedication is scheduled during MUW''s Homecoming April 15-16. For more Homecoming activities, see the related article in today''s Lifestyles section, contact MUW''s Office of Alumni Relations at 662-329-7295, or visit muw.edu/alumni/.