Alumni Plaza—The Forest—is the outdoor gathering place on the main FPU campus. Faculty, staff and students meet around tables in sun and tree-dappled shade for lunch, study and social breaks. Sometimes someone brings a guitar.

Use and misdirected sprinklers left many tables worn over the years, and when elected leaders of the class of 2015 were looking for a legacy, the choice was obvious. The Undergraduate Students of Fresno Pacific University organized a vote and the traditional undergraduate students agreed to contribute $90,000 from an account funded by student body fees to purchase:

  • Recycled plastic tables to replace the original wooden ones; four are wheelchair-accessible

  • An underground irrigation system that waters plants from below to protect the tables and save water

  • Decomposed granite walkways

  • Drought-tolerant trees and other colorful plants

Work began in July and was completed as classes started in August. The students worked with Robert Lippert, chief financial officer; Gary Metcalf, director of facilities management; Marc Gilpin, campus grounds supervisor; Michael Kunz, professor of biology/environmental science; Deanne Bell, assistant professor of biology; and Richard Vaillancour, part of the Fresno firm Robert Boro Landscape Architect. The work was done by Briner & Son Landscape Management, Fresno.