Alumni Garden blossoms with volunteers

Among the student volunteers helping to plant the Alumni Garden on Wednesday, Sept. 30, were (kneeling, l-r) Savannah Schinto, Storm Walsh, Nicole Poirier; (standing) Morgan Kaye, Amanda Kleespies, Sydney Cyzon, Gina Britton, and Mackenzie Taldone.

The Upper Iowa University Alumni Garden continued to blossom Wednesday, Sept. 30, with the help of the University’s Greek Network and other student organizations.

A collaborative effort of the Greek Network, alumni, faculty, and staff, the Alumni Gardens at Henderson-Wilder Library was originally proposed by Naomi Aziz, a student intern in the UIU Office of Institutional Advancement & Alumni Development back in 2013.

Now serving as UIU associate director of annual giving, Aziz takes great pleasure in how the garden continues to benefit the entire Fayette campus since its initial planting in September 2014.

“I feel truly blessed to have seen how the garden has progressed since it was created during the first phase of the project. It was spectacular to see the support we received in fundraising for and planting the site,” said Aziz. “Similarly, to see the returning Greek organization members being joined by new members this year in continuing to beautify the garden is just amazing.”

Featuring a low-maintenance design, the Alumni Garden not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of the Campus library, but serves as an outdoor classroom space for various curriculum at UIU.

In addition to this year’s volunteer effort from Upper Iowa’s Beta Phi Omega, Alpha Nu Omega, Beta Theta Omega, Zeta Kappa Psi, Phi Beta Delta, E.Y.E., Gamma Delta Phi, and Kappa Zeta Tau Greek organizations, Aziz expressed her appreciation to volunteers from the University’s Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Pride clubs.

“This ongoing effort is a tribute to the collaborative spirit that can be found here at Upper Iowa University and with Homecoming Week (Oct. 5-11) nearly upon us it benefits the entire UIU community,” closed the Alumni Garden’s founder. “The whole purpose of this project was to gain support for the Greek fraternities and sororities. Seeing the students come together and work as one is especially gratifying. This is how things should be on any campus.”

Aziz noted fundraising will begin in the near future to continue sustaining the garden. For additional information about the UIU Alumni Garden or to make a donation to the project, contact Aziz at or 563-425-5966.

To view photos from the Wednesday, Sept. 30, volunteer planting effort, visit


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