After a popular magazine dubbed the University of Minnesota campus one of the ugliest schools, alumni had a few things to say about the label that certainly isn't very Minnesota Nice.
"I think people underestimate the University of Minnesota. Not only is it beautiful, we have tons of first tons of discoveries," says Jason Schmuck. "We've got tons of really famous alumni."
That sort of pride is the main reason Schmuck and Ben Drawall are taking Travel and Leisure Magazines list of the ugliest college campuses so personally. Both used to be guides who gave tours to prospective U of M students. As alumni, Schmuck and his wife even had their engagement photos taken on campus.
"So when they called the campus ugly, it took a dig at our engagement photos too," he said.
Beautiful U of M photos: http://bit.ly/1h2YxUG
Travel and Leisure says they "consulted the Princeton Review, Unigo.com and other forums where students hotly debated all aspects of campus life." In the list of 15 schools, Travel and Leisure specifically calls out Coffman Union, saying "the only feature that could make it look more industrial would be the addition of smokestacks."
"I don't believe anyone was on the campus who made this judgment," said architect and U of M alum Ann Voda. "In fact, the photo to illustrate their point wasn't of Coffman Union at all. It was of the building behind Coffman Union."
Viewers flooded Fox 9 with photos aimed to prove the assessment wrong. Many of the photos highlight a campus with both brains and beauty, rich with history dating back to the 1800s. Northrup Hall alone was host to Martin Luther King, Bob Dylan and the Dalai Lama.
"Of course you have a few that were built during the Cold War," Schmuck allowed. "I think we have a really beautiful campus -- of course we have a few blemishes and rough spots. I think every university does."
Students soaking up views of the river and downtown have mixed reviews.
Eric Hsu said, "There's always construction everywhere, but it never ends up looking much nicer."
In the end, beauty may be in the eye of the beholder -- but ugly may be going a little too far.
"Are you serious? I mean, I beg to differ because I don't think it's the ugliest," Sam protested. "I mean, there are places that are prettier. It is one of the best schools I can say, personally."
University officials did not give an official response about the list, but they did send Fox 9 News a link that dubs the campus beautiful.