Cer­mony ded­i­cates Sachiko Mal­lach Trib­ute Gar­den

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Ch­eryl Al­li­son For Main Line Media News

As it con­tin­ues its jour­ney into a sec­ond cen­tury in Bryn Mawr, the Harcum Col­lege com­mu­nity paused last week to re­mem­ber a woman who, in a short time, made a far-reach­ing im­pact on its fu­ture.

Gath­er­ing at sun­set Oct. 7 in front of the cam­pus’s Bed­ford Hall, Pres­i­dent Jon Jay DeTem­ple and other col­lege ad­min­is­tra­tors, fac­ulty and friends met to break ground for the Sachiko Mal­lach Trib­ute Gar­den.

The gar­den will be ded­i­cated to the mem­ory of Mal­lach, known in the com­mu­nity as “Sachi,” who served as vice pres­i­dent of ad­vance­ment from 2009 to 2013. Mal­lach, of West Ch­ester, died July 1, 2015, after a five-year bat­tle with can­cer. She was 42.

With land­scap­ing and seat­ing fac­ing Mont­gomery Av­enue, the gar­den is in­tended to be a place of re­flec­tion for the col­lege and the larger com­mu­nity.

Re­mem­ber­ing Mal­lach, DeTem­ple re­flected that, “In the tapestry that is Harcum Col­lege, our his­tory and where we are go­ing,” her ser­vice may not have been one of the long­est, but it was “one of the bright­est, bright­est threads.”

“She could get in the door, she could get it started,” DeTem­ple said of projects like the ren­o­va­tion of the cam­pus’s Kevin D. Marlo Lit­tle The­atre and im­prove­ments to the Charles H. Trout Li-

“To do some­thing to memo­ri­al­ize her, my thought was, it should be some­thing that en­gages peo­ple.” — Pres­i­dent Jon Jay DeTem­ple

brary that were ma­jor ac­com­plish­ments of her ten­ure. “She was al­ways, al­ways en­gaged.”

“To do some­thing to memo­ri­al­ize her, my thought was, it should be some­thing that en­gages peo­ple,” he said. “The idea is that ev­ery­body passes by, whether they are Harcum stu­dents or peo­ple who just are in this area. It would be great to have a place where you could stop, pause and be en­gaged – and Sachi will al­ways be there.”

Raised in New York City and Long Is­land, Mal­lach, after col­lege at Wes­leyan Univer­sity in Con­necti­cut, made a ca­reer of fundrais­ing and de­vel­op­ment for schools and non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions. Be­fore join­ing Harcum Col­lege’s ad­min­is­tra­tion, she had served as di­rec­tor of de­vel­op­ment for the Ch­ester County His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety, where she was cred­ited with se­cur­ing a match­ing grant for $1 mil­lion, the largest in its his­tory. She was de­scribed as be­ing “pas­sion­ate about phi­lan­thropy.”

Den­nis Marlo, a mem­ber of Harcum’s board of trustees, re­mem­bered meet­ing her when she was in­ter­view­ing for the post and think­ing, “The col­lege is go­ing to be so much bet­ter if we can get Sachi on board.” Not long be­fore, Harcum, which cel­e­brated its cen­ten­nial in 2015 as one of Penn­syl­va­nia’s first in­de­pen­dent twoyear col­leges, had been “in a down­ward spi­ral,” Marlo re­called, but with the work of pre­vi­ous pres­i­dent Trout and DeTem­ple’s ar­rival in 2007, fi­nances were sta­bi­liz­ing and en­roll­ment was start­ing to in­crease. With Mal­lach’s ap­point­ment, “There was so much en­ergy that she just turned the whole mo­men­tum of the place around.”

“We meet a lot of peo­ple in our lives . . . . Once in a great while we meet some­one who has such pu­rity of spirit and good­ness of soul that they leave an in­deli­ble im­pres­sion on you. That was Sachi,” added Board of Trustees Chair­man Ted Rosen. Speak­ing for his board col­leagues, Rosen said she “not only had us give more, which was her job, but she had us be more.” Mal­lach’s vi­sion and mis­sion for Harcum Col­lege “be­came my mis­sion,” he said.

Now, with the trib­ute gar­den, “This lit­tle piece of land will be trans­formed into a place of beauty and a place of life,” Rosen went on to say. “A long time from now there will be peo­ple walk­ing by and sit­ting in the gar­den who have no knowl­edge of Sachi, but one thing is a cer­tainty: They will be the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of her work here.”

Mal­lach was mar­ried in 2007 to Daniel Mal­lach. The next year, their daugh­ter, Katy Rose, was born. Daniel Mal­lach, a land­scape ar­chi­tect and plan­ner who works in the West Ch­ester firm of Thomas Comitta As­so­ciates, worked with a com­mit­tee at Harcum to de­sign the trib­ute gar­den. A ren­der­ing, painted by Nar­berth artist David Fox, de­picts a semi-cir­cu­lar space with benches for seat­ing around a flag­stone plaza. A stone wall be­hind the benches takes its cue from stonework on the nearby Bed­ford Hall.

“The en­ergy she brought to her work has in­spired me in my own work,” he said of his wife. For this de­sign, I wanted a space both in­ti­mate and so­cial, where you can come by your­self or in a group, to meet or study.”

The lo­ca­tion is both im­por­tant in its link to the larger com­mu­nity and has per­sonal sig­nif­i­cance. Bed­ford Hall, which houses Harcum’s alumni of­fices, was where his wife worked, Mal­lach said. “This was her front lawn.”

Fea­tures like the stone wall link the gar­den to its cam­pus sur­round­ings. “I want it to look like a place that has been here for a hun­dred years,” Mal­lach said. There will be ini­tial plant­ings, but he also ex­pects the gar­den will evolve over time.

DeTem­ple said fund­ing for the Sachiko Mal­lach Trib­ute Gar­den will come from do­na­tions. Any funds re­ceived beyond the cost of the gar­den will go to the Harcum Schol­ar­ship Fund. DeTem­ple said it is the school’s in­ten­tion to cre­ate an an­nual award to be given in Mal­lach’s name.

For in­for­ma­tion about the Sachiko Mal­lach Me­mo­rial Fund or to make a gift, go to www.harcum.edu/gar­den.


At the ground­break­ing are (from left) Harcum Board Chair­man Ted Rosen and his wife Toni Rosen, Harcum trustee Den­nis Marlo and his wife Karen Marlo, fac­ulty mem­ber Steve Pipi­tone, Alumni Di­rec­tor Melissa Sa­mango, Pro­fes­sional Stud­ies Di­rec­tor Theresa Groody, Katy Mal­lach (daugh­ter of Dan Mal­lach and the late Sachiko Mal­lach), Coun­sel­ing Di­rec­tor Kathy An­thony, and Pres­i­dent Jon Jay DeTem­ple.

A ren­der­ing of the gar­den con­cept is by Nar­berth artist David Fox.

Sachi Mal­lach

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