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Livability.com: Oxford second-best college town in U.S.

OXFORD — The home of the University of Mississippi has been named one of the nation’s top college towns.

Livability.com ranks the city of Oxford No. 2 on its third-annual listing of top college towns. It was No. 9 on last year’s list and this year ranks right behind College Station, Texas, home of new SEC member Texas A&M.

“While there is an equal number of permanent residents and college students, the town retains a sophisticated feel,” the website’s review says. “That comes from the care city leaders take in preserving historic buildings and the fact that business owners know their clients have an appreciation for the finer things in life.”

The review also spotlights the university’s contribution to the city’s cultural scene, citing the UM Museum, Rowan Oak and Ole Miss Theatre offerings as being particularly important. It also notes that retirees have a chance to take UM classes tuition-free.

“College towns are appealing to all demographics because universities bring a host of quality-of-life amenities, such as arts and cultural activities, top-notch medical facilities and nightlife, as well as economic development assets, such as research and development, continuing education and workforce training,” said John Hood, spokesman for Livability.com.

Other cities making the list are Logan, Utah, home to Utah State University; Champaign, Ill., home of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Lawrence, Kan., home to the University of Kansas; Corvallis, Ore., home to Oregon State University; Bloomington, Ind., home to Indiana University; Athens, Ga., home to the University of Georgia; Ann Arbor, Mich., home to the University of Michigan; and Blacksburg, Va., home to Virginia Tech.

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