Remembering an Aunt and Travel Partner In The Heinz Chapel Garden



preview image

Rev. Linda Tardy Wilson travelled the world with her aunt, Doris Garrett Brevard, including several trips to London, where they would tour the city’s beautiful formal gardens. So when Ms. Brevard passed away in June at the same time the University of Pittsburgh was offering to engrave walkway paving stones in a new English-style garden that was being built outside the Heinz Memorial Chapel, Linda knew she had found the perfect way to honor her aunt.

“I was given a gift – a beloved gift,” said Linda, who says she had grand adventures traveling with her aunt and best friend.

Doris earned her B.S. in Education at Pitt in 1952, an M.A. from Columbia University, and a Principal's Diploma from Banks Street Graduate School of Education in Manhattan. She was a school librarian, teacher, and administrator in the Pittsburgh public schools, and for 26 years served as principal, first at Vann Elementary School in the Hill District and later at Baxter Elementary in the Homewood-Brushton area.

Her passion and success educating and championing Black children was recognized by many state and local officials, and she received numerous awards including the Allerton Lifetime Achievement Award from the YWCA, the Barbara Sizemore Spirit Award from Duquesne University, and the K. Leroy Irvis Black History Month award from the University of Pittsburgh.

Doris spent her summer vacations travelling.  She travelled to six of the seven continents, with Australia, not Antarctica, being the only one she missed.

“She would have been so happy to come here and see this lovely garden,” said Linda, who attended the Heinz Memorial Chapel Garden Dedication on October 5.

To learn more about the garden and naming gift opportunities, including the walkway pavers, visit www.giveto.pitt.edu/hcgarden.