Why in the world did I move to Florida? (4)
There are three fully accredited four year colleges in Sarasota.
NEW COLLEGE was founded in 1961. After an adventurous and perilous history it became the eleventh college in the State of Florida system in the early 2000’s.
It is a Liberal Arts College and is designated as the “Honours College for Florida” - (its website never spells out what this means). New College has an enrolment of 800 students.
THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA has 47,000 students on five campuses. Three of those campuses are separately accredited; one of those three is USF Sarasota- Manatee, which boasts 4,200 students in any given year - many of them being part-timers and commuters.
THE RINGLING COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN dates to the early 1930’s. The famous John Ringling was instrumental in its foundation. Unlike New College and USF Sarasota-Manatee which are public institutions, Ringling is private.
It boasts 1,300 students.
New College and USF have cheek by jowl campuses on the northern fringe of Sarasota County, and on the southern fringe of Manatee County on the infamous Route 41 (or Tamiami Trail).
Ringling is also on the Tamiami Trail, about 2 miles south of New College, and two miles north of downtown.
And therein lays a problem. Sarasota is a city filled with old timers such as I, or so it seems. Yet on any given day there are upwards of five thousand students in these three colleges.
But you’d never know it, partly because these students are in more or less self-contained campuses away from the city centre.
You’d never know it chiefly because the leaders and politicians in the City of Sarasota and in Sarasota County are a dull lot.
Most of them are lacking in the “Department of Imagination and Vision”.