The University of Houston-Victoria broke ground on the site that will be Kay’s Grove on Thursday afternoon.

Kay’s Grove is a 29,000-square-foot, landscaped garden that will serve as a memorial for Kay Walker, a former regent and longtime supporter of UHV who died Sept. 1 from COVID-19 complications.

“When Kay walked into a room, her smile brightened it,” said Ron Walker, her husband. “Our hope is that the grove will brighten lives.”

Four sites under consideration for the grove, Ron Walker said, but he needed to visit just one before deciding to build on the west side of campus.

“The ground just spoke to us,” he said.

From 1993-1999, Walker served on the University of Houston System Board of Regents as vice chair, secretary and a member of the executive committee. She went on to serve on various UHV committees.

The memorial grove will serve as a way for Walker to continue to contribute to the community and UHV after her death, said Bob Glenn, UHV president.

“Buildings don’t make a community,” he said. “But a memorial or garden such as this, it makes a difference. It gives a chance to come to some place to reflect and ponder and be self-aware.”

The memorial grove will have several features that will beautify the campus, said Johnny Steele, owner of Johnny Steele Design, which is designing the grove.

The grove will feature both native and adapted plants with the intent to create a textured, multicolored landscape throughout the seasons.

It will also feature water and ground cover that will attract butterflies and hummingbirds, Steele said.

“A memorial garden can be a lot of things, but mostly it should reflect the spirit of the person it’s honoring,” Steele said.

Recommended For You

Cody covers the business beat for the Advocate. He can be reached at (361) 580-6504 or

You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.

Business Reporter

Cody Baird reports on business and breaking news in the Crossroads region. He served in the Air Force and received his Bachelor's in journalism at Texas A&M University. Reach him at

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Transparency. Your full name is required.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article. And receive photos, videos of what you see.
Don’t be a troll. Don’t be a troll. Don’t post inflammatory or off-topic messages, or personal attacks.

Thank you for reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.

To subscribe, click here. Already a subscriber? Click here.