SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Spring is in the air and more than 9,000 tulips are blooming on Evangel University’s campus. In what has become an annual tradition, the community is invited to take advantage of a beautiful photo opportunity and enjoy the tulips across the front of campus.
“The hope every year is that the tulips are still in bloom the week of graduation.” said Nathan Cook, EU groundskeeper. “We buy the latest blooming tulips possible just for this purpose. Once they are in full bloom, they last two to three weeks.”
This year’s tulips are of the French blend late-blooming variety.
Tulips are also planted in front of the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, located on the north side of Evangel’s campus.
History of the Evangel Tulips
The beautiful tulip landscaping sprung from the vision of Tom Keltner, now retired director of EU’s Physical Plant. Keltner had a vision to transform the look of the EU campus through landscaping enhancements and a spring-time infusion of tulips.
“I wanted a tulip show that would make people want to pull off the highway and come see our campus,” said Keltner.
1997 marked the first year of a campus-wide tulip planting, the same year academic building Zimmerman Hall opened.
The tulips attracted the attention of passersby on Glenstone Avenue, who would often stop to take photos in front of the beautiful floral backdrop. Shortly thereafter, the university began inviting the community to drop by the campus when the tulips were in full bloom, and the annual tradition began.
Evangel University, with the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (AGTS), is a comprehensive Christian university committed to excellence in educating and equipping students to serve the Church and society globally. Evangel and AGTS serve more than 2,200 students from all 50 states and numerous foreign countries, offering 70 undergraduate majors and 19 master and doctoral degrees.