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Old 09-04-2016, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Chicago
5,918 posts, read 6,554,989 times
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What type of university is needed to make a truly great college town? Let me explain what I'm talking about...

it would seem to me that the very best of the great college towns contain a state's flagship public university. In states where there is more than one flagship (I'd consider this to be true of states like Michigan, Florida, Texas, etc., that could be considered states having 2 flagship public universities), only the older one makes a great college town (i.e. in the way Ann Arbor is and East Lansing isn't). Secondary public universities in each state don't seem to produce great college towns. And, quite frankly, I think there are very few college towns with private universities that are considered great college towns. In fact, the only one I can think of that is truly considered a great college town is Princeton. (maybe Cambridge or Itacha)

So I'm suggesting that the truly great college towns are heavily dominated by the likes of places like Berkeley, Eugene, Boulder, Austin, Lincoln, Lawrence, Columbia (Mo), Iowa City, Madison, Bloomington, Ann Arbor, State College, Charlottesville, Chapel Hill, Oxford, Athens

The above is strictly opinion on my part. Am I on track on this one or way off base? I wonder how others see this.
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Old 09-04-2016, 12:40 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
78,904 posts, read 70,720,442 times
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I wouldn't call Eugene a "great" college town. Berkeley, yes. What about Cambridge, seat of Harvard? I would list Ithaca in there, too, and Ann Arbor.
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Old 09-04-2016, 01:48 PM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
11,810 posts, read 18,822,626 times
Reputation: 11141
Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
What type of university is needed to make a truly great college town? Let me explain what I'm talking about...

it would seem to me that the very best of the great college towns contain a state's flagship public university. In states where there is more than one flagship (I'd consider this to be true of states like Michigan, Florida, Texas, etc., that could be considered states having 2 flagship public universities), only the older one makes a great college town (i.e. in the way Ann Arbor is and East Lansing isn't). Secondary public universities in each state don't seem to produce great college towns. And, quite frankly, I think there are very few college towns with private universities that are considered great college towns. In fact, the only one I can think of that is truly considered a great college town is Princeton. (maybe Cambridge or Itacha)

So I'm suggesting that the truly great college towns are heavily dominated by the likes of places like Berkeley, Eugene, Boulder, Austin, Lincoln, Lawrence, Columbia (Mo), Iowa City, Madison, Bloomington, Ann Arbor, State College, Charlottesville, Chapel Hill, Oxford, Athens

The above is strictly opinion on my part. Am I on track on this one or way off base? I wonder how others see this.
If one is to consider the situation of states with more than one flagship, one also has to consider context of each. Some Flagship universities are in traditional college towns while others are in cities (namely state capital cities). For example, Ann Arbor is a traditional college town for UM while Austin is a state capital city for UT. These are two different animals. Austin is a city, not a college town.
If one is to consider MSU a second flagship school, its context is more like UT than UM. While East Lansing isn't the state's capital and its location isn't technically the same as UT's, it's still just 4 or so miles from it. For me, this makes MSU a flagship in a de facto state capital. Many additional states follow a similar model in their capital regions with large "flagship" style state institutions including Wisconsin, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia, Minnesota, etc.
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Old 09-04-2016, 01:53 PM
 
56,710 posts, read 81,038,544 times
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Why isn't East Lansing a "great" college town? What about Evanston as an example of a "great" college town that has a private university?

Kent, Oxford, Athens and Bowling Green in OH may be good examples of solid secondary college towns.
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Old 09-04-2016, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
6,066 posts, read 3,397,513 times
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Having a college that has a good arts program is very beneficial in my opinion. I love college towns with a creative environment (and its also important, career wise) Bringing creativity to a town enhances it, it can make a once sleepy town feel more lively, bring some music, be a good place to start a band, etc. etc.
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Old 09-04-2016, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
4,552 posts, read 3,652,932 times
Reputation: 3625
Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
What type of university is needed to make a truly great college town? Let me explain what I'm talking about...

it would seem to me that the very best of the great college towns contain a state's flagship public university. In states where there is more than one flagship (I'd consider this to be true of states like Michigan, Florida, Texas, etc., that could be considered states having 2 flagship public universities), only the older one makes a great college town (i.e. in the way Ann Arbor is and East Lansing isn't). Secondary public universities in each state don't seem to produce great college towns. And, quite frankly, I think there are very few college towns with private universities that are considered great college towns. In fact, the only one I can think of that is truly considered a great college town is Princeton. (maybe Cambridge or Itacha)

So I'm suggesting that the truly great college towns are heavily dominated by the likes of places like Berkeley, Eugene, Boulder, Austin, Lincoln, Lawrence, Columbia (Mo), Iowa City, Madison, Bloomington, Ann Arbor, State College, Charlottesville, Chapel Hill, Oxford, Athens

The above is strictly opinion on my part. Am I on track on this one or way off base? I wonder how others see this.
I think Tucson is a great college town. The city revolves around the U of A. Businesses constantly give discounts to students, some businesses are targeted to students (i.e. Wildcat Liquor), non-students/faculty will wear U of A clothing, and many of the locals come to basketball and football games. Having the town's support for the university I think is one of the biggest factors; U of A literally seems like the heart of Tucson.
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Old 09-04-2016, 06:35 PM
 
1,586 posts, read 1,544,277 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Why isn't East Lansing a "great" college town? What about Evanston as an example of a "great" college town that has a private university?
Agree with your implied point here -- East Lansing and Evanston are both underrated college towns. East Lansing more so than Evanston, I'd say, because Evanston doesn't really have the kind of nightlife a great college town should have. As a matter of fact, I think Ann Arbor is a bit overrated, and I don't think it's substantially better than East Lansing.
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Old 09-05-2016, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Chicago
5,918 posts, read 6,554,989 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boulevardofdef View Post
Agree with your implied point here -- East Lansing and Evanston are both underrated college towns. East Lansing more so than Evanston, I'd say, because Evanston doesn't really have the kind of nightlife a great college town should have. As a matter of fact, I think Ann Arbor is a bit overrated, and I don't think it's substantially better than East Lansing.
I would say the trajectory of Evanston and East Lansing is strongly rising in becoming great college towns. I would think it would be hard to beat the big ten for having great college towns
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