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Old 11-12-2018, 06:05 AM
 
Location: Brew City
4,214 posts, read 2,501,359 times
Reputation: 5649

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
Chapel Hill (where you live) is an outlier, and know having lived there myself for several years. Other college towns like Durham NC, Ann Arbor MI, Davis CA, Amherst MA, Boulder CO, Champaign-Urbana IL, Norman OK and Knoxville TN (to name a few) all do a pretty decent job of mixing demographics in a centralized core.
The only towns on your list that can really be considered a "college town" are Amherst, MA and Champaign-Urbana. The rest are sizeable enough to have an independent economy. Even though Ann Arbor IS Michigan, it's still over 120k not to mention another 20k nextdoor.

College towns that are barely bigger than the college itself are very much dominated by campus influences.
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Old 11-12-2018, 09:48 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,987 posts, read 102,540,351 times
Reputation: 33045
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
Chapel Hill (where you live) is an outlier, and know having lived there myself for several years. Other college towns like Durham NC, Ann Arbor MI, Davis CA, Amherst MA, Boulder CO, Champaign-Urbana IL, Norman OK and Knoxville TN (to name a few) all do a pretty decent job of mixing demographics in a centralized core.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegabern View Post
The only towns on your list that can really be considered a "college town" are Amherst, MA and Champaign-Urbana. The rest are sizeable enough to have an independent economy. Even though Ann Arbor IS Michigan, it's still over 120k not to mention another 20k nextdoor.

College towns that are barely bigger than the college itself are very much dominated by campus influences.
Agree with Vegabern on both points. I lived in Champaign-Urbana for 7 years beyond "college age" though I was the same age as the grad students, even when we left in 1980. I've lived in a Boulder suburb since 1982. There is a world of difference.

C-U is heavily university oriented. There are few other professional jobs there. Health care, my field was a joke. Three small community hospitals, a small health department and some doctor's offices. I say "was" because it may have changed, but actually, the town(s) haven't grown that much in almost 40 years. Very provincial.

Boulder is way different. It is really a suburb (some would say ex-urb or some other fancy word) of Denver. Lots of people work in Denver. Plus, there are many businesses in town to provide jobs, from IBM and Google to small start-ups and a couple federal labs. Health care is still kind of "meh". If you're really sick, you'll go to Denver. But the Denver opportunities are there, plus opportunities in other Denver suburbs.
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Old 11-12-2018, 09:55 PM
 
1,857 posts, read 714,087 times
Reputation: 3960
I went to Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. I lived in this college town from when I was 10 years old until I was 25. My father was a professor at MSU and my mother was a lab technician there.

So I lived there before and after I graduated from there. I loved the town and university. MSU has one of the largest and most beautiful campuses in the world. It was great and I completely enjoyed it.

I live in Texas now but I still have family in that area and I visit it every summer. The campus is a great area to walk in, with botanical gardens and unique plantings all over campus.
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Old 11-12-2018, 10:08 PM
 
Location: Texas
57 posts, read 57,557 times
Reputation: 101
I've lived in State College, PA and Norman OK. Can't say I would choose to live in them outside of attending university. When I attended Penn State it was fantastic... but I started growing out of it by senior year. I can only take so many drunk people and shenanigans until it starts getting seriously annoying. For what its worth, as a student I couldn't have asked to live in a better place. It really felt like a hyper-condensed east coast city at times for me. However, as an adult, I have no interest in cheap pizza, liquor/beer, and college stores. Plus in order to make use of transportation you basically have to live among the college crowd. Outside of the town it becomes Nowhereville.

A few years later I moved to Norman and the vibe didn't even come close to State College, although I'm guessing it's because it wasn't isolated from OKC by 4 hours. The "downtown" area was tiny and low-key compared to SC, and I know 0 people that even bothered with using the public transport. Norman just felt like any other suburb of OKC with occasional traffic problems on game days.

I'm much happier living in Austin at the moment.
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Old 11-13-2018, 05:15 AM
 
21,186 posts, read 30,343,833 times
Reputation: 19609
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
Agree with Vegabern on both points. I lived in Champaign-Urbana for 7 years beyond "college age" though I was the same age as the grad students, even when we left in 1980. I've lived in a Boulder suburb since 1982. There is a world of difference.

C-U is heavily university oriented. There are few other professional jobs there. Health care, my field was a joke. Three small community hospitals, a small health department and some doctor's offices. I say "was" because it may have changed, but actually, the town(s) haven't grown that much in almost 40 years. Very provincial.
Oddly enough a lot has happened in Champaign-Urbana in the 38 years since you've lived there and that world has shrunk considerably.

Some instances include:

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation...g_Applications

The University of Illinois Research Park
About | Research Park

https://www.agdaily.com/news/bayer-m...bean-breeding/

https://medicine.illinois.edu/about/partnerships/
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Old 11-13-2018, 05:29 AM
 
21,186 posts, read 30,343,833 times
Reputation: 19609
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
Chapel Hill (where you live) is an outlier, and know having lived there myself for several years. Other college towns like Durham NC, Ann Arbor MI, Davis CA, Amherst MA, Boulder CO, Champaign-Urbana IL, Norman OK and Knoxville TN (to name a few) all do a pretty decent job of mixing demographics in a centralized core.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegabern View Post
The only towns on your list that can really be considered a "college town" are Amherst, MA and Champaign-Urbana. The rest are sizeable enough to have an independent economy. Even though Ann Arbor IS Michigan, it's still over 120k not to mention another 20k nextdoor.

College towns that are barely bigger than the college itself are very much dominated by campus influences.
Care to elaborate how Durham would have evolved (or survived for that matter) since the relative demise of Big Tobacco and without the presence of Duke University or Duke University Medical Center? Duke is Durham, and vice versa. Davis has a population of 65K, with 28K employed at UC-Davis...seems fairly predominate doesn't it? Norman isn't huge (122K) with over 10% of the population working for OU and other peripheral jobs/employment are a result of the university such as research and other cooperative endeavors, making it pretty university-centric.
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Old 11-13-2018, 06:51 AM
 
Location: Williamsburg, VA
3,551 posts, read 1,648,849 times
Reputation: 10163
Williamsburg is more than just a college town, but William and Mary does have a big affect on most people living here. The pros are there are plenty of campus events the public can attend (although it's sometimes hard to find out about them). The symphony, and cultural arts programs are strong here, and that's largely because of the campus. Historically, this town owes its survival to the school; it would have collapsed and disappeared in the 1800s without it.

Having a college has added a lot of youthfulness to what would otherwise be a retirement community, and a diversity of political opinion. That diversity of political opinion has helped the local economy quite a bit, as it draws a lot retirees who are seeking that. As it happens, a lot of those people have a lot of money, and they've given generously to arts programs and the library.


The local colleges have several different educational programs seniors can enjoy, including the well known Christopher Wren programs. That's a definite benefit of having the college here. We also enjoy having football and baseball stadiums right here in town, and a local team to root for.

The downside is traffic can be bad at certain times, such as freshman orientation and graduation. The local news announces events that might tie up traffic, and you learn to avoid it. Also, I wouldn't choose to live in one of the neighborhoods where the college kids live, just because they are sometimes noisy and have littering issues. Kids will be kids, after all.
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Old 11-13-2018, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Oklahoma
6,843 posts, read 6,181,041 times
Reputation: 6120
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
Norman isn't huge (122K) with over 10% of the population working for OU and other peripheral jobs/employment are a result of the university such as research and other cooperative endeavors, making it pretty university-centric.

I can speak for Norman here. Norman was pretty much a college town 50 years ago just like you are trying to present. But since the early '60s when they put in the interstate to OKC it began morphing into a suburb of OKC. Then in the late 80s they built a four lane surface road that went from Norman to access other roads which could get you from Norman to Tinker Air Force Base (and largest employer in central OK) and (at the time) the GM plant. Now the GM plant areas have a bunch of spin off businesses to support Tinker.


I'd say that by the 1990s Norman was as much a suburb as it was a college town. Now it's more of a suburb than it is a college town although they've done a pretty good job of preserving the area around the university and downtown area to where it still feels like a small college town. But there are huge swaths of Norman that are pretty much inhabited by commuters to OKC.

The other thing that has happened to Norman is that in decades past there was about 3-4 miles of countryside between it and Moore, OK and on in to Oklahoma City. That is mostly filled in with development now so you can drive from OKC to Norman without ever leaving the urban suburban corridor.


As a previous poster said, Norman has always been a bit low key for a college town because OKC has always been accessible for Norman residents/ students for shopping, dining, partying. But in decades past a lot of the residents had some connection to or interaction with the university. Most everybody was an ardent OU fan. Now there are a lot of people in Norman who have no association/connection with the University. They just moved in from someplace else to work in OKC or at Tinker. They live in Norman because it is more desirable than a lot of the other areas around OKC.
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Old 11-13-2018, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Mars City
5,091 posts, read 2,138,052 times
Reputation: 7505
I've lived in two college towns well-past college age. Not a big fan of those times/locations, though it wasn't due to the universities per se. It was more due to the cities being too small, not enough companies (especially large), and the overweighted demand for 20's somethings for employees vs. everyone else.
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Old 11-13-2018, 08:33 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,987 posts, read 102,540,351 times
Reputation: 33045
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
Oddly enough a lot has happened in Champaign-Urbana in the 38 years since you've lived there and that world has shrunk considerably.

Some instances include:

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation...g_Applications

The University of Illinois Research Park
About | Research Park

https://www.agdaily.com/news/bayer-m...bean-breeding/

https://medicine.illinois.edu/about/partnerships/
Major employers in Champaign-Urbana:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 13,857
Carle 6,386
Champaign Unit 4 School District 1,624
Kraft Heinz 1,025 Kraft Heinz installing new pasta dryer at Champaign plant Kraft Heinz installing new pasta dryer at Champaign plant | News-Gazette.com
Champaign County 923
Christie Clinic 911
Urbana School District #116 830
Presence Health 803
Plastipak 780 Welcome to Plastipak, a global leader in the plastic packaging and recycling industry. https://www.plastipak.com/
Parkland College 707
FedEx 681
City of Champaign 535
SuperValu 515
Rantoul Foods 511
Busey 507
Vista Outdoor 440
Website www.vistaoutdoor.com
Vista Outdoor Inc. is an American publicly traded "designer, manufacturer, and marketer" of outdoor sports and recreation products. It operates in two segments, shooting sports and outdoor products, as a "house of brands" with more than 40 labels and subsidiaries. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vista_Outdoor
Flex-N-Gate 426 Flex-N-Gate manufactures metal and plastic original equipment components and mechanical assemblies for companies in the automobile industry. FLEX-N-GATE
JELD-WEN, Inc. 425 JELD-WEN is an American company with its headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is one of the world's largest manufacturers of windows and doors. (Wikipedia) http://www.jeld-wen.com/en-us/
Hobbico, Inc. 415 Hobbico, Inc. was a manufacturer and distributor of hobby products including radio control airplanes, boats, cars, helicopters and multirotors/drones. Other products include plastic model kits, model rockets, model trains, slot cars, crafts, jigsaw puzzles and games. The company has approximately 850 employees worldwide.[1]. On January 10, 2018, Hobbico filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and announced the company is for sale. On April 13th, Horizon Hobby acquired control of most Hobbico RC brands & IP (excepting Great Planes Manufacturing). Estes Industries acquired the Estes-Cox business unit and a German VC group acquired Revell Germany whole and the Revell-Monogram brands, IP & molds. Wikipedia
Amdocs 412 Amdocs is a multinational corporation headquartered in Chesterfield, Missouri, with support and development centers located worldwide. The company specializes in software and services for communications, media and financial services providers and digital enterprises. Its offerings include business support systems (BSS), operational support systems (OSS), open network solutions, Internet of Things, big data analytics and entertainment and media solutions. Wikipedia
Mahomet-Seymour School District #3 408
Champaign Park District 400
Wolfram 362 Wolfram Alpha (also styled WolframAlpha, and Wolfram|Alpha) is a computational knowledge engine[4] or answer engine developed by Wolfram Alpha LLC, a subsidiary of Wolfram Research. It is an online service that answers factual queries directly by computing the answer from externally sourced "curated data", rather than providing a list of documents or web pages that might contain the answer as a search engine might. Wikipedia
Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District 345
Horizon Hobby 341 Horizon Hobby, LLC. is an international hobby product distributor, headquartered in Champaign, Illinois. It currently manufactures various hobby-grade radio-controlled (RC) models, as well as Athearn model trains and die-cast models, which it sells direct to consumers as well as to hobby retailers. Wikipedia
Champaign County Economic Development Corporation | Directories & Reports
My annotations in blue. The ones I didn't annotate I figured were self-explanatory.
Real competition for Silicon Valley there!

I worked at Carle Hospital. That PR piece is pretty good. It hasn't changed much.

Bean breeding? They've always done that kind of stuff there.

The National Center for Computing Applications is part of the University of Illinois.

This: "World-class arts and entertainment, and vast sporting and recreational opportunities" from the research park link cracked me up. Vast sporting and recreational activities? When people complained about the lack thereof in Champaign, my husband's advisor said it helped you get your work done that there were no distractions.
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