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Evangel ranked one of the most beautiful Christian college campuses in the world

July 10, 2014 | Paul K. Logsdon

People love lists and rankings. Daily we see magazines, newscasts and websites alike featuring Top 10 lists. Some lists can be serious, like those in Consumer Reports. Others are just fun.

Evangel University was pleased this spring to be ranked as one of the 50 Most Beautiful Christian College & University Campuses in the World.

The Christian Universities Online website reports that those on this particular list “excel not only academically and spiritually, but also aesthetically — boasting some of the loveliest looking campuses anywhere on Earth.”

Honored campuses range from Pepperdine in Malibu, Calif., to Baylor in Waco, Texas, to Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo, Japan. Locally, College of the Ozarks also made the list. There are roughly 900 religiously affiliated colleges in the U.S. alone.

“The Evangel campus has undergone a total transformation in recent years,” said Chuck Cox, director of alumni relations. “We have built nine new facilities and added landscaping that has great eye appeal. Alumni and visitors are always extremely complimentary.”

Nathan Cook

Nathan Cook, grounds supervisor for Evangel University.

Nathan Cook, 36, is the grounds supervisor for Evangel University, and he has been working the flowerbeds on campus since he was 16 years old. He was mentored and trained well by Jesse Paxton, who retired last year.

“We have a four-year rotation schedule for the campus which was developed by a couple of very talented gentlemen who have since retired,” said Cook. “We analyze and tweak our plant choices based on past performance.”

In April, Evangel invites the community to visit the campus, bring their kids and cameras, and enjoy nearly 18,000 tulips as they bloom.

“Each spring, we get calls from people asking if it is ‘tulip season’ at Evangel,” said Janet Gause, former telecommunications operator and now campus visit coordinator. “It is fun to see people taking their family photos around our campus.”

Nathan and his four student assistants planted more than 13,000 flowers in May. They will be nearing their peak when EU students and their families arrive in August.

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