SRQ    June 9, 2018

The Wall Street Journal last January published an article by a long-time frequent visitor to Sarasota that extolled the charms of our little corner of the world.  The author, Alexander Lobrano, talks about the cheese shop downtown (due to move soon to the Rosemary district), the Amish doughnut truck, our newly opened chocolate shop and the wonderful Bookstore 1. He approvingly mentions the beaches, our neighborhoods, the Ringling Museum of Art and singles out several restaurants. He recounts conversations he has had with others on the evolution of the region and favorably compares Sarasota to Cambridge, Massachusetts. And then he adds, parenthetically, that Sarasota lacks a Harvard. 

This easy truth masks the fact Sarasota/Bradenton and Cambridge feel similar precisely because both are college towns. We do not have a large, venerable research university like Harvard or MIT, but we have a group, called the Cross College Alliance, of five extraordinary younger institutions that work together, though they could hardly be more different.