Tuesday, January 23, 2007

State Universities

My favorite columnist and economist is Rich Karlgaard, who writes for Forbes magazine. Rich is also the author of Life 2.0: How People Across America are Transforming Their Lives by Finding the Where of Their Happiness. He has written extensively about the power of State Universities with their engineers, scientists and technical approach as opposed to liberal arts colleges.

Stillwater, OK (population 42,946) is such a college town being the home of Oklahoma State University. I identified it as a top 100 agurb® in BoomtownUSA. I was back in Stillwater for the fourth time in the past three years.

Owen Rock of the Stillwater Chamber gave me a tour of the town, which continues to develop and grow because of the companies that are growing there driven by the scientists at OSU. One of the major areas of growth is in the area of sensors, which have become a major cluster in the Stillwater/Ponca City corridor.

A $750 million Athletic Village is being built adjacent to the OSU campus with donations from alumni, led by T. Boone Pickens' $150 million donation. The day before my visit Sherman Smith announced a $20 million donation toward this project.

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