Pacific Union College in Angwin won a national honor of a most curious sort over the weekend.
Newsweek and The Daily Beast ranked PUC as the “most beautiful college” in the nation, topping such other West Coast schools as Santa Clara University (No. 2), Chapman University (No. 3), UC Santa Barbara (No. 8) and the University of Southern California (No. 12).
The ranking reflected survey data on the attractiveness of students, the campus, the number of sunny days per year, and the area’s comfort index, which measures humidity and afternoon temperatures.
The male students at PUC scored 9.2 out of 10 for “male attractiveness,” while females got a rating of 9.1. The source of these measures of physical beauty: the College Prowler website.
Online comments questioned many of the “most beautiful” results. “What does education have to do with attractiveness???” said one. Another questioned how non-existent male students were rated at the all-female Scripps College.
PUC is a Seventh-day Adventist Christian liberal arts college located in the green hills east of St. Helena.
PUC President Heather J. Knight accepted the honor, saying, "In many ways, this is recognition for our collective goal to make the campus sparkle — and our landscape and facilities management teams in particular.”
Knight has led a campaign in recent years to enhance many areas of campus and emphasize its natural beauty.
All things considered, “most beautiful” is one of the better honors being handed out by Newsweek and The Daily Beast.
Other top 25 lists included “least affordable” and “most stressful.”