Georgetown Recognized in "Southern Living" Magazine
Southern Living - "The South's Best College Towns"
What Does it Take To Be the Best College Town?
While these college towns top our preseason poll for reasons beyond the gridiron, we won't judge you for making an end zone rush to visit.
Best College Town Criteria:
A population under 200,000 (thus excluding favorites like Austin) so that the school has an incredibly strong impact on the town.
A lively local scene with good, affordable restaurants, independent boutiques, and support of the arts.
A dedicated and active alumni base.
A healthy dose of Southern charm.
Read Georgetown's review.
The Williamson County Sun - September 7, 2011
By Jake B. Schrum
College town kudos, Georgetown
In 2003, while speaking on a panel at a community forum, I expressed the hope that Georgetown could become more like a college town, rather than just a town with a college in it.
That vision has since materialized, as evidenced by the fact that Georgetown was recognized as one of the South’s best college towns in the September issue of Southern Living magazine.
This recognition would not have happened had it not been for the efforts of many people in the community.
In 2004, an informal task force began meeting to explore ways to strengthen the bond between Southwestern and the community. That task force has since evolved to become an official committee of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce. A group of 15 people representing the university as well as local businesses and civic organizations now meets regularly to discuss how we can work together for mutual benefit.
Many positive results have come out of these meetings. A closer relationship with the Williamson Museum, for example, has led to the museum co-sponsoring an event at the Williamson County Courthouse for our new parents the first weekend of school. This event has drawn rave reviews from all those who have attended.
The Downtown Georgetown Association has worked closely with us to make sure our visitors get information about businesses in Georgetown. 400 bags with information from local merchants were picked up on the first day of parent orientation this year.
More than 30 businesses in town now participate in our Pirate Card program, which enables students to use their on-campus debit card for purchases at local merchants.
Many other members of the community support Southwestern by working with our Career Services Office to help our students find internships or jobs, and by supporting organizations such as the Friends of the Sarofim School of Fine Arts.
Even seemingly small gestures can be meaningful. Last month, for example, the H-E-B store on University Avenue hung a banner that welcomed our students back to town. They also have provided reusable grocery bags for our first-year students.
For the past six years, we have recognized some of the citizens, organizations and businesses whose efforts have enhanced the college town environment in Georgetown by presenting them with the Martha Diaz Hurtado College Town Award. Recipients of this award to date include The Williamson County Sun, the Downtown Georgetown Association, former mayor Gary Nelon, Chamber of Commerce President Mel Pendland, Dr. Douglas M. Benold, Dr. Ellsworth Peterson and Mrs. Esther Weir.
Efforts to strengthen the ties between Southwestern and Georgetown benefit the community as a whole when they bring recognition such as what we recently received from Southern Living.
I hope this wonderful recognition will encourage us to redouble our efforts to make Georgetown seem more like a college town. Southwestern University will continue to be a good citizen and work to make Georgetown a fine place to live, work, play, serve and learn. We want to attract people to live and study in Georgetown.
Jake B. Schrum is president of Southwestern University.