Marsa’s Hammock Garden, named in memory of devoted Oglethorpe trustee and longtime donor Martha Laird Bowen ’61, was recently installed near the Turner Lynch Campus Center.
Nestled beneath a canopy of trees, the new space features 10 large soft-weave hammocks and space for students to put up their own hammocks as well.
Each hammock is made from comfortable, quilted fabric, meant to be enjoyed in any weather. The garden can be found next to the firepit area outside the TLCC and just north of the creek. The space is at the heart of campus near other students spaces, but tucked away from footpaths, so students can study, hang out or take a nap.
Martha Laird Bowen loved Oglethorpe University. As an undergraduate, she received the Sally Hull Weltner Award — an honor reserved for the senior who has attained the highest grade-point average with the greatest number of hours in course work completed at the university — and the Oglethorpe Cup for outstanding woman graduate. After graduating, she volunteered at Oglethorpe often, eventually becoming part of the alumni board and later the Board of Trustees, where she served for eight years. She would go on to receive the Talmage Award for being an outstanding alumnus.
Sadly, Bowen passed away earlier this year. In her memory, her husband Robert H. Bowen dedicated memorial funds from family and friends to creating a space where students can gather and relax throughout the day. Serendipitously, the Student Government Association also advocated for more spaces for students to enjoy. Thus, “Marsa’s Hammock Garden” was created.
The hammocks were sourced from Pawley’s Island, a hammock company in South Carolina close to Edisto Island, where Bowen hosted friends and family in her cherished vacation home — “Marsa’s Place.” The new hammock garden represents all that Bowen cherished in her lifetime — gathering with friends, relaxation and improving the lives of students at Oglethorpe University.