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EU’s campus brightened by arrival of annual tulip blossoms

Published on Apr 14, 2023 by Erin Hedlun

SPRINGFIELD, Missouri – With local temperatures rising, Evangel University’s iconic tulips are nearing full bloom. Thousands of tulips are planted on campus every year, and the public is invited to stop by and capture a photo with the tulips as a traditional spring-time backdrop.

Every spring, Evangel orders 9,000 French blend late blooming tulips. Once the tulips are in full bloom, they last three to four weeks.

Tulips are also planted in front of Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, located on the north end of Evangel’s campus.

 History of Evangel’s Tulips 

The beautiful tulip landscaping at Evangel began with Tom Keltner, now retired director of the Physical Plant. While interviewing for a position as director of campus transformation, Keltner was asked by Evangel’s then-President Robert H. Spence about his vision for the campus. Keltner gave two answers: landscaping and tulips. Spence loved his idea, and Keltner got the job.

The tulips made their debut in 1997, coinciding with the opening of Zimmerman Hall, and have been planted every spring since. The flowers are primarily located toward the front of campus, especially around Riggs Hall and Spence Chapel, and have become a seasonal staple at the university.


 About Evangel University

Evangel University, with its embedded Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (AGTS), is a comprehensive Spirit-led Christian university located in Springfield, Missouri. It is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Under the leadership of Dr. Mike Rakes, EU is committed to excellence in educating and equipping students to serve the Church and society globally and becoming compassionate innovators in their chosen vocations. EU offers more than 70 degree programs, including cutting-edge majors, pre-professional programs, and affordable and flexible online degree options.

EU is highly regarded and has been ranked:

  • US News & World Report Best Colleges Top Performer in Social Mobility
  • Colleges of Distinction Best Christian University
  • Top 10 Best Universities by
  • Third Most Beautiful Campus in the Midwest by Christian Colleges & Universities
  • Top 10 Best Colleges in Missouri by

With additional accreditations in business, counseling, music, social work, and theology and certification as an Excellence in Giving university, EU is focused on providing students with hands-on experience and real-world training for today’s professional careers. Learn more about the university at