The 50 Most Beautiful College Quads in America

READING, Pa., Feb. 27, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The quad is the center of a college campus. Students walk through the quad to get to classes, their dorms, the rec center, or cafeteria. Students spend time in the quad talking with friends. As alums, students look back at the quad as a place where they studied, dreamed, and made plans for the future. The quad is the heart of a campus. It is the academic, historical, and activist center. College Rank conducted in-depth research to find the 50 most beautiful quads in America. Check out these five choices. Then read the whole article.

Amherst CollegeAmherst, MA

Several impressive buildings, including Johnson Chapel and Converse Hall, surround the main quad at Amherst College. 

Johnson Chapel, a Georgian-style church, hosts religious services, concerts, lectures and ceremonies. The chapel has a collection of religious texts and artifacts. It has been an essential part of campus life since it was built in 1829.

During the Civil War, the main quad served as a training ground for Union soldiers. The quad has also been the site of protests and demonstrations on various social and political issues. 

Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridge, MA

Killian Court is a central quad in the heart of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus. The landscape is home to such architectural wonders as the Great Dome and the Infinite Corridor.

Killian Court hosts such student traditions as the annual MIT Mystery Hunt. It brings together teams of students to solve a series of puzzles. Students receive their class rings at the “Brass Rat” ceremony. 

Killian Court has been the site of presidential speeches. The quad has a plaque commemorating the first artificial self-sustaining nuclear reaction, which MIT achieved in 1942.

Rice UniversityHouston, TX

The Academic Quad at Rice boasts “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace by artist James Turrell. This interactive sculpture enables visitors to experience the sky’s changing colors as the sun sets.

One of the most beloved traditions is the annual Beer Bike, a road bike race and beer festival. There’s also the annual Art Car Parade.

One of the most historical events on the quad was the 1962 “Moon Speech.” President John F. Kennedy outlined his plan to put a man on the moon during the space race with the Soviet Union. 

College of William and MaryWilliamsburg, VA

The Sunken Garden quad is surrounded by historic brick buildings, including the Sir Christopher Wren Building. Completed in 1700, it’s the oldest academic building in continuous use in the United States. 

The Sunken Garden has also been the site of historical events. In 1775, William and Mary was the first college in the U.S. to declare its support for American independence from Great Britain. The Sunken Garden was the site of a rally in support of the American Revolution. A cannonball from that era is still embedded in the garden wall. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson gave presidential speeches in the garden.

Florida Southern College

The esplanade at Florida Southern College contains the most extensive collection of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings in the world, including The Esplanade, a series of covered walkways connecting the courtyard’s buildings. Wright designed all the buildings around the Esplanade.

It contains Wright’s masterpiece, The Annie Pfeiffer Chapel and the stately E.T. Roux Library. 

The Wright-designed Water Dome is one of the college’s most iconic symbols and is the site of the annual Water Dome Lighting Ceremony, marking the beginning of the holiday season. 

Check out the 50 most beautiful quads in America for a full description of these beautiful examples of an American tradition. Then check out the College Rank podcast and College Rank’s Instagram.

Contact: Brian Schultz

Phone: 610-416-6338


SOURCE College Rank