Slain Alumna Honored

News Date
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ASU alumna, the late Tanisha Pughsley (contributed).

Peace Garden Named for Slain ASU Alumna; Honors Victims of Domestic Violence 

By Kenneth Mullinax/ASU 

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Oct. 28 for a newly constructed "Peace Garden'' that was named for slain Alabama State University alumna, Tanisha Pughsley. The garden also honors all victims killed in domestic violence incidents. The Peace Garden, which is located at 2625 Lower Wetumpka Road in Montgomery, includes a walking trail and a special metal bench bearing Pughsley’s name. The project was sponsored by Leadership Montgomery Torchbearers Class-XV, Project Team-Three.  

Pughsley was a Chicago native and a member of the ASU class of 2014. She majored in Criminal Justice and, upon graduation, joined the Montgomery Police Department. At the time of her death, she was a detective. Pughsley was slain in a domestic violence (DV) shooting in 2020. Her former boyfriend was recently found guilty of her murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

Pughsley’s mother, Dr. Sharon Pughsley, was present at the Peace Garden dedication ceremony. 

"My daughter Tanisha was a very proud graduate of Alabama State University and loved all things that had to do with it. She came all the way from Chicago, Illinois, to attend ASU and selected it after having many other offers from other universities across the nation," Dr. Pughsley said, while at the dedication ceremony. "Although tragic circumstances (befell) her in Montgomery, every time I visit ASU or hear it mentioned in a news story or in an in-person conversation, it brings happiness and a smile to me because it reminds me of when my girl was at one of the happiest moments of her short life -- as a student at Alabama State." 

Kandace Besteder organized the Torchbearers' event at the park and the dedication of the Peace Garden in Pughsley’s honor. 

"Our Torchbearer's project had as its goal to raise awareness about domestic violence, promote healing, as well as to honor ASU's Detective Pughsley," Besteder said." "Our Saturday event began with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and community event with a goal of creating a warm and welcoming environment for all attendees." 


The garden has as its goal to remind the community of the unwavering commitment necessary to combat and end domestic violence against the women and men of Montgomery and beyond. The garden features an array of greenery, representing hope and healing while providing a place of solace for survivors of domestic violence and their families and friends.  


"It is my hope and desire that the Peace Garden will serve as a lasting tribute to Tanisha's legacy of love and service, and as a symbol of resilience for the entire community to do all it can to stop the violence which took my daughter away from us," stated Dr. Pughsley. "I wish to thank officials from Alabama State University, who just like family, attended both the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the garden, as well as sat with me and Tanisha's blood-family during the recent Montgomery Circuit Court trial that brought my daughter's murderer to justice. It meant a lot to all of us to have an Alabama State University representative with us during that hard time at the court proceedings and that type of kindness speaks volumes to the school's care and love of its students, alumni and specifically for the Pughsley family." 

News media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104.