It’s official: The College of Charleston is the prettiest college campus in America.
The College was named the winner of Travel + Leisure’s “Most Beautiful College Campus” contest on Thursday afternoon after two weeks of open online voting. Before polling closed on Thursday, CofC had nearly 20 percent of the vote and was several points ahead of the next top vote-getter, the University of Montana.
“The College of Charleston community has known for centuries that we have one of the most beautiful college campuses in the world,” said College of Charleston President Glenn F. McConnell ’69. “I’m thrilled that renowned Travel + Leisure magazine has formally recognized the College with this No. 1 ranking and affirmed to everyone that our world-class beauty matches our world-class instruction.”
He added, “this recognition would not be possible without the incredible work of our talented grounds crew, led by Paty Cowden. She and her team deserve much of the credit for this unique and well-deserved honor.”
The College bested nineteen other universities across the country, including schools such as Princeton University, Duke University and the University of California Los Angeles. CofC was the only South Carolina institution in the contest. The photo of campus featured on the online ballot was submitted by sophomore Alison Rourk.
Students, families, faculty and staff have long lauded the College for its historic vistas, Spanish moss-adorned live oaks and its historic Cistern Yard.
Travel + Leisure has also given high marks to the city surrounding the College. The media outlet named Charleston the best city in the world in 2016, and it has ranked the city, its restaurants, attractions and lodgings among the best in the nation.