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Despite Obstacles, Oxford Still Vying For New College

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OXFORD, N.C. — An old campus setting for the development of a new college sounds like a great idea. But a proposal to put Founders College on a portion of a century-plus orphanage campus in Oxford has hit a snag.

The Masonic Children's Home has changed its mind on the idea of sharing their campus. Despite the setback, the creator of Founder's College still has interest in building his four-year private liberal arts college in Oxford.

"Yes, for the kind of college we want to be, we want to be focused in terms of location in creating a rural or a country setting," said Gary Hull. "We don't want to be an urban campus."

Supporters of a site in or around Oxford are playing up the location near the universities in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. There's also the Research Triangle Park and RDU International Airport nearby. Backers say all of these pluses make Oxford the choice for a new college.

Hull said Founder's college is also looking at offers in Virginia and Maine. His vision is a campus with 100 students to start, and a curriculum that will differ from the other liberal arts colleges.

"An important body of knowledge with the heavy focus on teaching students how to think analytically and a serious focus on teaching students how to write very clearly," said Hull.

Hull said the college is set up and ready to go, and the location is the last decision they have to make. Oxford continues to cross its fingers. However, sources say a mountainside location in Maine might have the most interest right now.


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