KOKOMO, Ind. – After hundreds of hours of manpower and 150 chrysanthemums later, Indiana University Kokomo sports a refreshed, vibrant look with new landscaping in the campus quad and fall flowers trimming each building.
More than 130 students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members volunteered their time to spruce up the campus during three days of Campus Beautification.
Organizers Tara Scott and Sarah Sarber recruited volunteers and encouraged the campus community to sponsor a flower through a donation. More than $4,100 was raised to help offset costs.
"Campus Beautification Days helps create a more aesthetically pleasing environment for students, faculty, staff, and potential students," Sarber said, dean of students. "It's important to create something we can all take pride in. It's a lot of people coming together and working together for a common goal."
Jordan Ousley, a senior majoring in secondary education, agrees that it is important for students to get involved and work together.
"I'm doing this because I like helping out and making the campus look nice," Ousley said. "It may draw more interest in IU Kokomo, and we'll have more students. It gets people to work together in a positive way."
On campus, funding was received from the IU Kokomo Staff Council, IU Kokomo Alumni Association, American Democracy Project, Student Government Association, and individual donations.
In addition, the project was a success due in part to community members like Dave Lybrook, of Lybrook Landscaping, who donated countless hours and the landscape design for the quad.
Local businesses also donated time, money, and resources throughout the three days. They are Hayes Brothers, Huston Electric, J & J Electric, Terstep Construction, Hearn Construction, E & B Paving, and Carter Block.
"I am grateful for all the hard work, dedication, and generosity from the campus and community members. The campus looks absolutely amazing," said IU Kokomo Chancellor Michael Harris. "Great things can be accomplished when people come together, and this is an excellent example of that. We are a community and we are on the move."
Additional landscaping is planned for spring beautification days, slated for some time in April, including raised flower beds outside the Library entrance.
"I would like to extend a special thank you to Tara, John and Sarah Sarber, and the committee for their leadership that made this possible," Harris said.
Campus Beautification committee members are Sarah Sarber, Tara Scott, Cathy Valcke, Cheryl Currens, Shirley Sellers, Kathryn Stremiecki, Louie Wagner, Barb Rink, Karla Stouse, Dave Selby, Heidi Sebastian, Kim Biehunik-Justiss, and Amber Mumaw.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.