A poem written by Penn State Brandywine senior Lauren Orner was recently published in "175 Years of Reflections, Laurel Hill Cemetery," a commemorative booklet marking the cemetery's anniversary.
Orner, a Schreyer Honors scholar from Brookhaven, attended a customized tour of Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia in April 2010 for honor students studying Philadelphia's disease history. The students were invited to submit a photo, poem or short story that reflected on their trip to Laurel Hill. Orner's poem, titled "Sleeping," was chosen in July 2010 for inclusion in the anniversary book, which was released last month.
"The inspiration for my poem was, oddly, a headstone I saw," Orner explained. "All it said was 'SLEEPING.' That image got stuck in my head. I didn't know if it was a name, a message or something else. I wrote my ideas down in a poem."
Honors Coordinator Laura Guertin, associate professor of earth sciences at the campus, said, "I'm thrilled to see Lauren's poem selected for inclusion in Laurel Hill Cemetery's collection of reflections. It confirms for me that outside-the-classroom learning experiences, even something as non-traditional as a cemetery tour, have incredible value and an amazing impact on our students."
"It feels amazing to see my name in a book," Orner said. "I am an English major and a book nerd, so it was a special moment for me."