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Dedication of The Fonseca Gardens


Dental Dean Marjorie K. Jeffcoat with President Amy Gutmann, Dr. Robert Schattner (D '48), Mrs. Kay Schattner, and Dean Emeritus Raymond J. Fonseca at the Dental School.

Penn Dental formally dedicated The Fonseca Gardens–a landscaped terrace and lawn area adjacent to the School's Robert Schattner Center—at a luncheon ceremony earlier this month in the Schattner Center's atrium, which overlooks the Gardens. Penn Dental faculty, overseers, alumni, and friends gathered to pay tribute to Dr. Robert Schattner (D '48) and his wife, Kay, whose gift funded the creation of the Gardens, and to Penn Dental's former Dean, Dr. Raymond Fonseca, for whom the new space is named.

"It is a pleasure to have this opportunity to honor Dr. and Mrs. Schattner for their generosity to Penn Dental and to celebrate this lasting tribute to Dean Fonseca," said Penn Dental's Amsterdam Dean, Dr. Marjorie Jeffcoat. "I think gardens are symbolic of what we are as a school and a university. A garden needs tending just as our students, our community, and our curriculum do. We can't grow as a school and a university without tending our garden, and I think Dr. Fonseca set an unprecedented example of tending the student body during his years as Dean." Dr.  Fonseca served a 14-year tenure as Dean, from 1989 to 2003. Dr. and Mrs. Schattner, whose leadership gift played a crucial role in the construction of the Robert Schattner Center, made an additional gift to establish the Gardens in honor of Dr. Fonseca.

The Fonseca Gardens, completed in May 2004, were created as the final element in developing a unified Penn Dental campus. The Robert Schattner Center—the 70,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility that was dedicated in 2002—links the School's three buildings, and now, The Fonseca Gardens do the same on the exterior. Designed to provide an outdoor space for students, staff, faculty and special events, the Gardens are bounded by the Schattner Center, the Evans Building, and the Levy Building and are accessible from all three.

A large, bluestone terrace, situated directly off of the Schattner Center atrium, is one of the key design elements, and as the main seating area, it is outfitted with groupings of tables and chairs. Connecting brick walkways run from the terrace along the sides and back of the Gardens, bordered on the interior with planting beds that surround the other focal point—a 105'x 60'-foot lawn in the center of the courtyard. The lawn has been designed to provide ample room for tents, with the goal of creating a versatile outdoor location for events. Visitors to the Gardens also enjoy the site and sound of water, with a sculptural fountain that is situated within the bluestone terrace area.

"The Fonseca Gardens are everything we could have desired in a space. Since its informal opening this spring, the Gardens have been a favorite spot for the Penn Dental family. We are indeed indebted to Kay and Bob Schattner for this wonderful space," said President Amy Gutmann. "In Dean Ray Fonseca, students had a Dean who was accessible to them and supportive of their interests—that is invaluable. So it is especially appropriate that Kay and Bob Schattner chose to honor Dean Fonseca by making an additional gift to name these gardens for him. It is a gift from Ray's friends for his friends at the Dental School—past, present, and future. This is a garden that will be a cherished addition to a School that brings honor and distinction through its teaching, its research and its clinical practice."



  Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 13, November 23, 2004


November 23, 2004
Volume 51 Number 13


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