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News & Recent Developments


History of the Project

The Jesuit Connection to Japanese Gardens and Tea Ceremony


The Proposal

Marc Keane's Design

Benefits to Holy Cross

References and Resources



Summary of Benefits to Holy Cross

College Mission:
  • The Mission Statement articulates the invitation for all to join "in dialogue … among people from diverse … religious traditions," and "seek that which requires us to transcend ourselves and challenges us to seek that which might constitute our common humanity." It is hard to imagine a more suitable natural and architectural space where the central ideals of the great religious traditions of Asia can be so readily experienced.
  • Building such a garden will emphasize for students, faculty, parents, and staff that the college is committed to a rich and authentic engagement with Asia.
  • It emphasizes that the scope of Jesuit education was and is global.
Campus Resource:
  • The garden/teahouse will be utilized in a host of courses dealing directly with Japan and Asian religions. Seminars can be held there, as well as lectures / demonstrations using the tea room and meditation room.
  • The garden/teahouse will be a resource for programs of the Center for the Study of Religion, Society, and Ethics.
  • The garden/teahouse will be a symbol of the Asian Studies Program's campus profile in course offerings, study abroad, extracurricular events, etc. Students will become more aware of this part of the College's curriculum and be attracted to sample other Asian Studies programs on campus (Balinese music & dance, Film Series, etc.).
  • The contemplative space can be used by the newly-formed student Meditation Club.
College Community:
  • The process envisioned for developing a constituency of faculty, staff, and students committed to the creation of this garden/teahouse, some of whom will travel to Japan, in itself be a positive influence on Holy Cross.
  • The "culture of tea" and the "love of gardens" will provide new centers for the cultivation of faculty/staff community.
Reputation of the College:
  • A number of top-ranked liberal arts colleges (Carleton, Smith, Wesleyan) have built Asian gardens on their campuses. But none have built the multi-use space we are proposing, and none have carried through the types of programming we imagine. The Holy Cross garden /teahouse will strive for the highest standards of excellence that characterize other campus initiatives, enhancing its reputation.
  • Combined with the very extraordinary Balinese Program sponsored by the Luce Professorship, Holy Cross can rightly claim to possess the very finest resources in Asian Studies, among the most elite liberal arts colleges in the nation. This should move the college up into the "Beloit 50", a listing of colleges ranked for excellence in International Studies. (Holy Cross currently is not ranked on this list.)
  • A natural space of singular beauty will be added to the campus
  • Several tree species will be added to the arboretum.