Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Most beautiful college

Posted November 15, 2011

The WRAL Morning News team got into an interesting debate this morning on the most beautiful college campuses in America. Kelcey Carlson’s alma mater was ranked this year as the 17th most beautiful campus. The buildings at Indiana University were constructed out of native limestone. Kelcey pointed out the same material that makes IU so beautiful is also part of the charm and majesty of the Biltmore House in Asheville.

Elizabeth Gardner’s alma mater made the top 50 list of most beautiful college campuses. Colorado in Boulder not only has impressive architecture but is situated in a glorious mountain setting.  My alma mater, UNC-Chapel Hill, scored very well at 27th thanks to its gorgeous campus and historic canopy of trees. Our executive producer Scott Nagel attended Furman University which came in at number 12 on the list.

Some of my favorites include Duke University with its gothic architecture, Dartmouth College, William & Mary and the College of Charleston. Also, Elon, which ranked as the most beautiful campus is America, is certainly deserving of accolades.  These rankings come from if you would like to check out the complete list.

In your opinion, what is the most beautiful college campus in America? I would love to hear your thoughts.


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  • tarheelgrad1998 Nov 16, 2011

    @Gerbil - my alma mater is on the list, at #27, which is about right.

    Sure, be proud of your U, but there's a difference between that and delusions. Sorry, NCSU doesn't deserve a mention here.

  • meruncc13 Nov 16, 2011

    @Sat123 - It's Queens University in Charlotte (I drive past there on a daily basis)
    I would like to include Davidson College for the tree canopy and the buildings - but I can't say the same thing about UNC Charlotte with its mishmash of styles ranging from cold war era bunkers to classic college buildings to late 80's to early 90's modern.

  • awheeless Nov 16, 2011

    High Point University is a really pretty campus...espically in the fall and Christmas!

  • missparrothead Nov 16, 2011

    UNCW- lots of grassy lawn area with stately Williamsburg column style bldgs.

  • mcatfan Nov 16, 2011

    I'm surprised that Brigham Young University in Provo Utah was not on the list. It backs up to the mountains and I thought it was beautiful when I was there on a business trip. I can't really argue with any of their choices. As a fellow NCSU fan, let's face it, the campus is not the most beautiful place, both Duke and UNC have us beat in that department.

  • sat123 Nov 16, 2011

    UNC, of course!

    Queens College (or is it Queens University now?) in Charlotte is very pretty, though that's less to do with the college itself and more to do with the neighborhood.

  • Celt Nov 16, 2011

    Two of my alma maters are on the list--Duke and Florida State. I am not sure whether that means I have good taste or simply that I spent way too much time in school!

  • rpugliese Nov 15, 2011

    Virginia Tech is right up there. But Colgate University (upstate NY), especially in the fall, is the most beautiful campus I've ever visited.

  • Wheelman Nov 15, 2011

    I'm surprised that Smith College in Northampton, MA isn't on the list. Beautiful grounds and building and many of the dorms are old restored Victorian homes right in the middle of a beautiful New England town.

  • dharper22 Nov 15, 2011

    There's a beautiful campus in Ames, IA the home of Iowa State University. Check it out.




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