FOUND A COLLEGE

St. Cloud, Minnesota, "The Granite City," was founded in 1856. It has 68,000 people living within its 40 square miles. [Cary has 60 square miles and – alternate estimates notwithstanding – now has a population of over 170,000.]

Pictured above are the combined campuses of the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University in St. Cloud. Each institution has a sustainability department whose head reports directly to its respective college president. The colleges are noted internationally for their commitments to sustainability.

There are fundamental differences between towns and cities with a college or university and those without. We suggest that the Town of Cary has grown sufficiently and is therefore ready to host an institution of higher learning within its boundaries. Were an institution established, the benefits to Town residents would be yuge.

I realize that this would be a long-range project. The specific recommendation I make is that a commission be empanelled to study the question. If nothing comes of it, nothing is lost. If a college or university can be established in or attracted to the Town, however, we and those who follow us will be infinitely the better for it – intellectually, artistically, environmentally, and socially.