Last Saturday, the rooftop garden on Claire M. Fagin Hall was dedicated to the alumni of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania’s now-defunct Nursing Diploma Program.

The ceremony also kicked off the celebration of the School of Nursing’s 125th year at Penn.

The HUP nursing diploma program was started in 1886. Although the program ended in 1978, it made a significant impact on what is now the Nursing School, according to Wylie Thomas, the school’s assistant dean for development and alumni relations.

The ceremony honored five alumnae particularly — Lillian Brunner, Shirley Chater, Nadine Landis, Marie Savard and Ruth Lubic — for their impact on health care. Their names were inscribed on the stones surrounding the HUP Legacy Fountain in the garden.

The garden also honors the 5,000 alumni of the HUP Nursing Diploma Program with a fountain made from over 5,000 stones to represent each of the program’s graduates. The fountain was created with three jets of water, each representing a year in the three-year diploma program.

“The Penn Nursing history began with the HUP diploma program,” said Nursing Dean Afaf Meleis. “As we continue to provide the care to change the world, it is only appropriate that we honor the legacy of those who helped pave the way for excellence in quality care and nursing science.”

The environmentally conscious roof garden replaced the concrete atrium on the fourth floor of Fagin Hall. According to Thompson, the garden helps filter out rainwater, in addition to offering a space for faculty, staff and alumni to socialize.

The building’s new roof is a part of the larger Fagin Hall renovations.

According to University Architect David Hollenberg, the green roof was constructed to provide visual amenities, as well reduce the flow of storm water into the city draining system. He said the water captured from rain is held in the soil and is released more gradually.

The roof also provides a habitat for birds.

“Protecting roofing with an environmentally friendly garden is a relatively new thing, but it’s a great way an aesthetic element in a building can also improve the building’s efficiency,” said Mike Dausch, executive director of design and construction at Facilities and Real Estate Services. He added that the garden also helps protect the roofing itself by providing insulation.

“The biggest thing to take away from this event is its significance as the first physical effort in Fagin hall that recognizes alumni,” said Wylie. “It’s going to set the stage for a great year of celebration as we head into the next 125 [years].”

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