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Establishing Roots

Posted by: Jennifer Stevens | June 3, 2015 | No Comment |

The Grounds Department elevates tradition at the College.

For the Grounds Department, going from winter to spring is like going from slow to full speed ahead. The department is busy cleaning up the falling leaves and tassels, putting down mulch, planting spring flowers, fertilizing, and controlling weeds. It is a daunting task and Paty Cowden, manager of the Grounds Department, worries every year if her department will be able to get everything done in time for A Charleston Affair and Commencement weekends.


For ACA, Grounds assists in the prep for tent staking, keeping the stage and walkways clean, policing the campus for trash, blowing the walkways and roads prior to the events on Saturday and Sunday, and then cleaning up on Monday.

Following ACA weekend, Grounds remains busy preparing the campus for Commencement. For the ceremonies, Grounds spruces up all areas where awards and receptions will be held and they decorate the stage with 800 potted geranium, and sunpatiens, along with greenery and Spanish moss that they gather from campus and from Dixie Plantation. The greenery has to be put in water tubes – Grounds uses 500 to 600 every year) so they will stay fresh throughout all the ceremonies. Prior to the ceremonies, Grounds polices the campus and uses leaf blowers to clear the stage and walkways. Additionally, they clean up Cistern Yard between ceremonies. Thanks to Paty and her Grounds crew, the College’s campus remains pristine for all commencement ceremonies.

On Monday following commencement weekend, Grounds cleans up the stage and Cistern Yard so the Spoleto crew can begin their set up.

And then, as Paty says, Grounds heaves a big sigh of relief that it’s all over for another year!

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