July 16, 2013
13-213

Malynda Dorsey
Communications Specialist

VSU Receives School Beautification Award

VALDOSTA – Valdosta State University has been honored with the 2013 School Beautification Award by Keep Lowndes/Valdosta Beautiful.

“We chose to give the school beautification award to Valdosta State because it is one of the most beautiful campuses in our area,” said Aaron Strickland, executive director of Keep Lowndes/Valdosta Beautiful. “It is one of the showpieces in our community and we recognize the effort that goes into that.”

Brett Ganas, assistant director of landscape and grounds at VSU, said that the award comes as a surprise, but it is indication of the diligence the university puts into enhancing and maintaining the campus.

“I am extremely excited about VSU receiving this award,” said Ganas. “We have done several things around the campus to make it colorful and appealing to the eye and are continuing to complete projects that contribute to its beauty.”

Ganas mentioned several beautification milestones such as improving the university’s seasonal color program, introducing retainer gardens around campus and designing flowering shrubs and perennials for the community to see when they drive  by on Patterson Street.

“The Art Department has also started introducing art work around the campus,” Ganas said. “We are working with the department to install more art in different areas on campus to be enjoyed by students as well as the community.”

Among larger projects are improvements to the University Center entrance and the construction of an outdoor classroom behind West Hall, which is scheduled to be completed in mid-August 

“The outdoor classroom will provide faculty and students with an alternative to traditional indoor study,” said Ganas. “It will be surrounded by trees with lots of color and landscape.”

Keep Lowndes/Valdosta Beautiful also honored VSU’s Kappa Upsilon Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. with the 2013 Student Organization of the Year Award. The award was presented to Alpha Kappa Alpha for exemplary community service efforts during several clean-up and beautification events and initiatives.

“We always have tremendous support from VSU’s student organizations and many of our events would not be possible if it was not for that support,” said Strickland. “We are very thankful to have the contributions from the student population.”

Keep Lowndes/Valdosta Beautiful is a non-profit organization dedicated to education and promotion concerning the environment. The organization hosts several clean-up days throughout the year.