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USU LAEP Students Win Spirit Award at National Conference

Shelby Ruud


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Laep Spirit Award

Students and faculty from Utah State University’s Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning recently travelled to Los Angeles to attend the American Society of Landscape Architects Annual Meeting, where they won a school spirit competition for showing their Aggie pride.

The conference hosted an Alumni Tailgate event where universities set up displays to show their school spirit and reconnect with alumni now working the landscape architecture profession. The USU students sang The Scotsman, led Aggie cheers, displayed Aggie flags and gave roping lessons on a bull-shaped piñata.

“It was cool because we went in as the underdogs and through creativity and enthusiasm, we stole the show,” said Cameron Blakely, a student who attended the conference. “Although we were completely surrounded by nationally renowned design schools, we all showed a sense of community to others and made ourselves relatable to them, helping establish our program among national competitors.”

With a contingent of 14 students and three professors, this was the largest group USU has sent to this particular conference. Students and faculty members voted to use differential tuition to make this opportunity possible.

“This conference was a chance for students to rub shoulders with some prestigious landscape architects and to get an expanded view of the breadth of the field,” said Associate Professor David Anderson, who led the trip. “This was a very unique opportunity for our students, and we were very impressed with the way they conducted themselves.”

As a prize for winning the Spirit Award, the students earned 15 complimentary registrations for the 2018 ASLA Conference in Philadelphia, Pa.

For more information about USU’s Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, visit

November 3, 2017
Writer: Shelby Ruud
Contact: David Anderson