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Remembering Melanie: A space to reflect and connect

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We have put this GoFundMe together to dedicate a bench to Melanie and her late father, Ernest, in the University of Maryland's Listening Garden. We feel this will honor Melanie in a way that reflects her talents for inspiring kindness, resilience, goofiness and love in a space that brings peace and reflection to anyone who visits. Melanie was such a kind and generous soul, we are asking you to join us in celebrating and remembering Melanie’s life, by making a donation in support of this project. Your contributions are deeply appreciated, and all funds raised beyond our goal will go to a cause of Melanie’s family’s choosing.

On June 3, Melanie Knouse Cline passed away unexpectedly and far too soon, leaving behind a loving family, husband, friends and her loyal and quirky dog, Jet. As we go through this painful time, grieving together, we thank her for loving us and allowing us to love her. She is everything you could ever ask a person to be. She always placed others' needs before her own and could laugh with a stranger even on her worst day. She is worth being remembered and that’s what we promise to do. We felt she would want nothing more than to dedicate her memory in support of others.

The University of Maryland was a strong thread in the story of Melanie’s life. It’s where she graduated from college, made lifelong friends, met her beloved dog Jet, inspired countless classmates, grew up exploring as a young girl, where she worked as an adult in the same department where her parents met, and most importantly, it’s where she met her loving husband, Greg.

From her earliest days as a student, making friends was at the front of her mind. When chatting with other freshmen about what they most were looking forward to, she couldn’t contain her excitement, “I can’t wait to make new friends!” Her group of friends in college, “The Mansion”, was named for the home near campus where some lived as Melanie’s roommates over the years, and where many friendships began. Melanie loved hanging out in the backyard with her friends and created a welcoming environment for people to come by, listen and talk about whatever was on their mind. She was the glue that kept this group together, finding time to chat, laugh and connect and she continued to do so long after graduation, and through many life changes, almost every day until the very end.

Melanie had a gift for making people feel welcomed even if you knew her for a short time. When it came to Ultimate, this quality shined brightly. Former teammates have reflected “how different our lives would be, had she not pulled us into the frisbee family, she was the community.” She inspired many to pursue the sport, making their first experiences warm, and memorable.

The Listening Garden was designed to help encourage dialogue and greater understanding through discussion and conversation. We felt dedicating a bench to her in this space was a way she could continue to help people connect now and into the future in a beautiful natural space of reflection. Melanie had an enthusiasm for connecting with others and making friends. The friendships Melanie and her late father, Ernest, both cultivated while at the University of Maryland have only continued to grow and blossom into a strong community of friends and family; a testament to their talents for making people feel welcomed and included. Though he passed early in Melanie’s life, it did not diminish the immense importance Ernest held in her life. She would often take time to reflect on the happy memories of her father, cherishing handwritten notes and art he saved for her. When thinking about dedicating a space at Maryland to Melanie, it felt only right to give her a space with her father.


  • Tim Chapin
    • $100 (Offline)
    • 17 d
  • Dana and Harold Braun
    • $50 
    • 20 d
  • Glen Ross
    • $100 
    • 21 d
  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 22 d
  • margaret soltan
    • $200 
    • 22 d


Jena Brinjak
College Park, MD

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