The University of Vermont – Burlington, Vermont
Location. Location. Location.
The University of Vermont could not be more handsomely located. Lake Champlain, the sixth largest lake in the United States, abuts the small (very small) city of Burlington. Burlington is a picture-perfect college town, packed with great eateries, cafes, and clubs. A quick glance over the shoulder reveals the Green Mountains, the great outdoors, winter sports, and the best skiing in the East.
Is Vermont a crunchy, environmentally aware state? Yes. Is Vermont attractive to the jet set, prepsters and skiiers? Yes. Students at the university are mostly white and mostly Christian, but the diversity of white is kind of impressive in this relatively small university. The work is tough enough and the reputation sound enough that the general tone of the place is both industrious and cheerful. Hippies and hipsters, jocks, skaters, boarders and skiiers, aggies pre-meds, pre-vets all seem to enjoy each others’ company and their privileged location.
The University of Vermont itself has a few quirky characteristics. It is popularly known as UVM rather than UVT because its Latin title is Universitas Viridis Montis or University of Green Mountains (that makes sense). Then UVM is a public/private or private/public university. UVM was founded as a private college in 1791, just as the foundling state abandoned it status as an independent republic to join the newly established United States of America. In the Nineteenth Century, the Morrill Acts established the Land Grant universities, of which UVM was one, thus taking on the role of the state’s public university. Today, the university operates with funds from the state and with tuition paid by students, a good number of whom are from other states.
The university is an excellent small research university, generally included in the small group of public (ish) universities that offer highly regarded academic instruction. Known as the Public Ivies, the original group includes Michigan, Virginia, North Carolina, Miami University (Ohio), UCAL Berkeley, UCLA, Texas, William and Mary, and Vermont. UVM continues to enjoy a solid reputation, due in part to its success in placing its graduates in competitive graduate programs and in part to its many innovations in developing a sustainable campus.