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Campus is blooming after beautification day

May 3, 2012
KOKOMO, Ind. — It's not every day you see the faculty, staff, and students of a university wearing work gloves, digging in the dirt, and planting flowers.

Campus Beautification Spring 2012Mark Baker and Ed Ventura working together during campus beautification day. Flickr slideshow.

At Indiana University Kokomo, though, making the campus more beautiful is Chancellor Michael Harris' passion. On the annual beautification day Thursday (May 3), the chancellor and others pitched in – helping plant lantanas, dahlias, and marigolds in flowerbeds throughout campus.

More than 40 volunteers donned work gloves to plant flower containers in front of the Main Building, and to fill the flowerbeds in the quad.

Harris, who has championed campus beautification since he arrived at IU Kokomo, thanked all the volunteers and the physical plant staff.

"This is an ongoing transformation, from a project we started two years ago," he said. "We are going to make it the most beautiful regional campus in the world. A beautiful campus will inspire our students and community to achieve even more."

He was pleased by the number of people who came to help the physical plant staff with the work.

"That's what makes this day so special, because we all care that our campus looks phenomenal," Harris said.

Leeann Mulkey, organizer of beautification day, said students, faculty and staff are proud of how the campus looks, and appreciate the opportunity to be involved.

"It is a great community builder, too, because we work together to make something great happen," said Mulkey.

Mark Baker, who works for physical plant, said the flowerbeds are an outward demonstration that IU Kokomo is a good place to be.

"It really shows the new direction the campus is taking," Baker said. "It has really set us out front, not only in our region, but throughout the state. We're setting the precedent for other campuses to follow.

"It's nice to see everyone taking ownership of the campus the way they have."

Student Kendall Sadler used a drill with an auger attachment to dig holes in the flowerbeds for flower planting. He enjoys landscaping, and was glad to help.

"We have to make the campus even more beautiful than it is," he said. "I thought it was important as a student to help, because it is my campus, too."

Nicole Miller, Crystal Lochard, Tara Bass and Carlos Zapata, from the Office of Student Success and Advising, worked together to plant marigolds near the Kelley Student Center.

Miller said the flowers add to the campus atmosphere and help make it more pleasant.

"Everyone loves to see all the flowers. Those kinds of things just make you smile."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

Last updated: 08/19/2014