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Cal State LA celebrates naming of Janice Cordova Garden of Well-Being

April 29, 2022

Cal State LA News Service

Richard Cordova speaks at lectern in front of Janice Cordova Garden of Well-Being sign.
Cal State LA alumnus Richard Cordova speaks at the dedication of the Janice Cordova Garden of Well-Being, named in honor of his late wife Janice Cordova. (Credit: J. Emilio Flores/Cal State LA)

Cal State LA celebrated the dedication of the new Janice Cordova Garden of Well-Being in April, named in honor of the late wife of alumnus Richard Cordova.

The garden is located in the heart of campus, between the Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good and the Student Health Center. It is a peaceful space that features a meditative walking path, artwork, and more than 50 types of plant life that promote relaxation, healing, and transcendence.

“This is a place at Cal State LA that we know will make a big difference in our day-to-day experience and the experiences of our students and everyone who visits the campus,” President William A. Covino said to guests gathered for the naming and dedication of the garden on April 21.

The garden is guided by the mission of the WellBeingU initiative, Cal State LA’s nationally recognized model for improving the inner and physical well-being of students. President Covino and First Lady Debbie Covino created WellBeingU in 2014 to promote a welcoming and inclusive environment for learning, interaction, and engagement at Cal State LA.

“The Janice Cordova Garden of Well-Being grew from a seed planted by students,” First Lady Covino said at the garden dedication.

The idea for the garden initially came from students participating in WellBeingU roundtables, during which students in the university’s Introduction to Higher Ed courses developed action plans for improving well-being on campus. “Student teams repeatedly imagined the creation of a space on campus defined by natural beauty where they could reflect, recharge and come together,” she said.

The Janice Cordova Garden of Well-Being was made possible through the support of many founding donors, including alumnus Richard Cordova.

Cordova received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Cal State LA’s College of Business and Economics in 1972. He is a member of the Cal State LA President’s Council, served as co-chair of We Are LA: The Campaign for Cal State LA, the university’s first capital fundraising campaign, and was named Alumnus of the Year in 2010.

The garden honors the memory of Janice Cordova, whose greatest joy was gathering and connecting with her family and friends. She had a passion for the arts, cooking, gardening, and interior design, and was known for her warm and generous heart.

“We hope visitors use this place to relax, meditate, laugh among friends, share ideas and be inspired to be bold, brave, and creative,” Richard Cordova said.

Learn more about the Janice Cordova Garden of Well-Being.

Guests attend the dedication of the Janice Cordova Garden of Well-Being.
Photo: Guests attend the dedication of the Janice Cordova Garden of Well-Being. (Credit: J. Emilio Flores/Cal State LA)

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California State University, Los Angeles is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. Cal State LA is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good, offering nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education, and the humanities. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 26,000 students and has more than 250,000 distinguished alumni.

Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex and the TV, Film and Media Center. For more information, visit