The students were taking an Intermediate Learning Community (ILC), part of the Wagner Plan curriculum for students in their sophomore and junior years, which integrated a history course about leadership in twentieth-century conflicts and a government course about civil liberties and human rights.
This ILC included a special project, the Global Leadership Garden, inspired by renowned South African leader Nelson Mandela, who cultivated a garden during his long imprisonment. “I saw the garden as a metaphor for certain aspects of my life,” Mandela said. “A leader must also tend his garden. He too plants seeds, and then watches, cultivates, and harvests the result.”
The garden became a means of outreach to seventh-grade students from Port Richmond, Staten Island, who helped research quotes from leaders worldwide. Located between Parker and Foundation halls, the Global Leadership Garden includes plants from five continents, along with plaques displaying inspiring words from sources ranging from Vince Lombardi to Pericles to Benazir Bhutto.
“This experience will be one that I will never forget,” wrote Chanez Robinson '13 in an essay reflecting on the project. “I gave something back to Wagner College, and it is and will become something beautiful and great.”
Photo by Robert Kupferberg