In 2008, the National Center for Education Statistics ranked Iowa 11th in the U.S. for “Brain Gain.” The center’s numbers showed a net gain of nearly 5,000 college students coming from elsewhere for an Iowa education vs. the number of Iowans who sought their education outside the state.

Conversely, a study conducted that same year by the Generation Iowa Commission ranked Iowa second from last (worst) for “Brain Drain.” That is, for the number of college-educated men and women ages 25 to 34 who leave Iowa, to live and work in other states.

I would suggest that Davenport could help continue the gain, and stem the drain, by emphatically saying, “yes,” to the sort of progress SAU’s proposed St. Vincent’s Center complex development represents.

To encourage more bright, engaged young people to live, work, pay taxes and raise families in Davenport, the city needs to offer exceptional educational opportunities — which St. Ambrose most certainly does — as well as diverse and modern athletics and recreational facilities; an area where the University has some catching up to do.

SAU annually sends hundreds of capable graduates into the world, and many of them choose to live and work in the Quad Cities in general and Davenport in particular.

The city will gain more young St. Ambrose graduates and retain more young professionals overall with positive support for quality-of-life projects that improve our city. The St. Vincent’s Center development is precisely such a project.

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Dr. Edward Rogalski

President Emeritus

St. Ambrose University