Lauren Giddings always liked to make things a little better and prettier, her friends said, so they are trying to carry on for her.
In separate ceremonies Saturday, with many of Giddings family members coming from Maryland for the events, she was honored with a new sign at Mercer Universitys law school and later with a bench at Washington Park dedicated to her.
Giddings was slain last June in Macon shortly after graduating from Mercers Walter F. George School of law. Stephen McDaniel is awaiting trial in connection with her death.
The sign at the law school replaced a plainer one that had become an eyesore, said Giddings friend and law school classmate, Bowen Reichert.
She and other members of the Class of 2011 raised $10,000 for the sign at the corner of Georgia Avenue and Bond Street. Reichert said when they decided on the sign as a way to honor Giddings, the money was raised quickly with donations coming from class members and school staff.
The sign was completed in early summer, but Saturdays event was to dedicate a plaque in Giddings honor. About 80 people attended, including classmates coming from around the country.
We thought Lauren would have wanted us to find something that was unattractive and make it better because that was what she was all about it, Reichert said.
A couple of hours later, just across the street, another group unveiled a bench in her honor at Washington Park. Scott Tisdale, who often ran with Giddings, built the bench as a piece of metal art.
He said he designed it with curves because Giddings had a strong feminine side, but made it of steel to represent how tough she was.
The event included live music, and many of those in attendance wore pink, which was Giddings favorite color.
Members of her family said the efforts of Giddings friends to honor her memory meant a lot to them.
We really appreciate what they have done here a lot, Giddings sister Sarah said after the ceremony at Mercer. I know Lauren would have been happy to have something like this done.
To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.