Sparky blossoms spread Sun Devil spirit

October 12, 2012

ASU’s spunky mascot Sparky is spreading Sun Devil spirit beyond t-shirts, license plates and mugs. Fans can now border their lawns and liven their patios with the maroon-throated, yellow-petaled, green-leafed “Sparky” plant.

Developed by horticulturist George Hull, faculty associate in The Design School’s landscape architecture program in the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, “Sparky” is a desert hardy, resilient shrub that Hull developed after several years of breeding. The plants average 5 to 6-feet in height and 3-feet in width. The “Sparky” shrubs are available at Home Depot, Lowe’s, SummerWinds and most retail nurseries in Arizona. The signature maroon and gold plants are the fifth in the line of new Tecoma hybrids bred by Hull. He’s working on “Sparklette,” a more diminutive version of “Sparky.” Photo courtesy of Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts Download Full Image

The plant is low maintenance, likes sun and after it is established requires little watering. It can experience frost damage if temperatures fall to the low 20s, but it recovers quickly and can be trimmed back to 12 inches when new growth starts in the spring.

Hull developed the plants at V&P Nurseries as a partner in its New Plant Introductions, and has designated that a portion of proceeds from “Sparky” sales go to The Design School’s landscape architecture program.

Public Contact: 
Susan Felt
Coordinator of Communications and Marketing

Media Contact:
Susan Felt
Coordinator Communications and Marketing

ASU, Oregon set record enrollment numbers for fall semester

October 12, 2012

Editor's Note: Arizona State football will take on the University of Oregon at 6 p.m., Oct. 18, in Tempe. Learn more about ASU's collaborations with Pac-12 schools.

It appears Arizona State University isn’t alone in setting record enrollment numbers for the fall 2012 semester. Fellow Pac-12 school University of Oregon also saw its highest enrollment numbers ever this year, coming in at a total of about 25,000 students. Download Full Image

While ASU’s numbers nearly triple Oregon’s at about 73,000, one thing the universities have in common is the caliber of students they attract. Oregon’s freshman class not only set a record for advanced placement courses taken in high school, but its average GPA is between 3.57 and 3.58.

The academic preparation of ASU’s 2012 freshman class is also at an all-time high, with a mean high school grade point average of 3.47, ACT composite of 24.5 and SAT composite (for math and critical reading) of 1129.

“The academic strength of our freshman class is stronger than ever, exemplifying a talented and motivated group of students ready to take on the rigor of their academic programs, and discover new and exciting things about themselves, their communities and the world,” said ASU President Michael Crow.

Both schools also are setting new highs for international and multi-cultural students.

Oregon’s international enrollment for the freshman class topped 10 percent – the highest in UO history – representing nearly 100 countries. The international enrollment for ASU totals more than 5,160—up from 3,856 just two years ago, a 34 percent increase.

“Students from more than 120 countries are enrolling on ASU’s four campuses,” said Elizabeth D. Phillips, executive vice president and provost. 

Thirty-nine percent of the Sun Devils' freshman class come from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds – up from 24 percent eight years ago – and for the second year in a row, the incoming class at Oregon has been the most diverse in their history, with students of color accounting for more than 25 percent of this year's freshman class – topping the mark of 23 percent set a year ago.

Emma Greguska

Editor, ASU News

(480) 965-9657