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February 7, 2012

ULM awarded prestigious Civic Improvement Commendation

The University of Louisiana at Monroe is a great place to live and to learn, said ULM President Dr. Nick J. Bruno during an event today in Strauss Theatre Center.

Part of that greatness stems from the university's beautiful campus, which was recognized today by the Monroe Garden Study League, a member of The Garden Club of America. The Conservation Committee of the Garden Club of America awarded ULM the Club Civic Improvement Commendation.

Bruno accepted the award on behalf of the university. Recognizing the contributions of past university presidents, he said, "I will continue the tradition of beauty on our campus. This award is very humbling. We reside on the university campus every day, and we hear so many compliments about its beauty.

"ULM is a great place to live and to learn. We view ourselves as an oasis in Monroe, and we will protect that."

Caroline Brown, a representative of the Monroe Garden Study League, explained why ULM was chosen for the prestigious award.

"The University of Louisiana at Monroe has been able to transform a major construction project into a serene and cohesive center for learning," she said.

From 1999 until the present, ULM has invested approximately $100 million dollars in architectural and landscaping improvement. This project qualifies as one of the largest of its kind in the southeastern United States.

The centerpiece for this major undertaking is the ULM Library, located alongside Bayou DeSiard, one of the longest, natural bayous in the United States.

ULM's Scott Plaza contains a large fountain and is highlighted by extensive landscaping.

The pathways are anchored by bald cypress, maple, and river birch trees with evergreen native magnolias. This permanent planting is complimented by white and red azaleas, Chinese fringe, lilies, iris and annuals.

Bruno recognized several ULM employees for contributing to campus beautification efforts: Chief Business Officer Diane Singletary, Budget Officer and Investment Manager Gail Parker, Director of Physical Plant Bryan Thorn, and Assistant Physical Plant Director for Grounds and Beautification Greg Smith.

Smith has worked at ULM for more than 17 years, ensuring the university's pristine condition.

Bruno said, "I'd like to recognize the man who is directly responsible for all of this—Greg Smith. Greg and his crew watch over our grounds and the exterior of our facilities so well that I'm able to stand in front of you today and accept this great honor."

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