I asked this question once before after touring the University of Limerick. And once again, my answer is a resounding ‘YES!’ Though I quickly realized it was a college my husband I would love to attend more than one that would be suitable for our daughter.
This small, historic, liberal arts college is absolutely gorgeous, and that’s no surprise. It’s the former Ponce De Leon hotel that was the creation of Henry Flagler, who partnered with John Rockefeller to create Standard Oil. The rich, elegant hotel was a home-away-from-home retreat for elite guests who spent $100,000 to spend a season at this grand hotel. Much of that luxury remains despite the fact that in 1968 the hotel was converted into a women’s college. (Now co-ed.) Imagine walking into a school lobby that looks like this:
Or a dining hall (still used today!) that looks like this:
You probably don’t realize that you’re looking at the world’s largest actively used collection of Tiffany glass. All of these leaded windows are Tiffany and they are gorgeous. Some of the chairs in the dining hall hail back 1200 years as well. It felt like something out of a fairytale, or Hogwarts. My husband and I started to wonder whether it was too late for us to go back and earn another degree just so we could dine here every day.
Our tour guide, Matt, a history student at Flagler, took us into the former women’s parlor where they still hold small events and receptions. Here we saw more Tiffany glass; this time in the form of Tiffany chandeliers set against a robin’s-egg blue ceiling. Does that color look familiar? Yep — it was the inspiration for those Tiffany-blue boxes that so many women covet.
The school was stunning. The fountain, the architecture, the rotunda, and that gorgeous dining hall. We had to ask: how much would a Flagler College education cost? Matt said it’s about $25,000/year including tuition, room and board. And Flagler is committed to keeping class sizes small. They have about 2700 students in total.
It sounded ideal. My husband and I tried to convince my daughter to keep this school in mind (despite the fact that it doesn’t offer engineering as a major). We would be all too happy to come to St. Augustine to visit her on campus. She ignored us. This probably isn’t the school for her. And we already have our degrees. I guess the only way we’ll get to spend more days here is to have another child and write his/her college essay before he/she knows otherwise.
Or, we could just take another tour.
Could you imagine yourself being a student here?