Posts Tagged ‘US News and World Report’

US News and World Report selects Fairfield, Iowa with Maharishi University of Management as one of their Healthiest Communities

June 22, 2018
USN&WR-Transcending Together

Ashia Freeden of Canada journals on campus at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa. (Rachel Mummey for USN&WR)

Fairfield, Iowa — Of the dozens of Iowa cities with populations hovering around 10,000, only one can tout repeated visits from A-list celebrities and Transcendental Meditation practitioners from across the globe.

For more than 40 years, the city of Fairfield, Iowa, has been coming to terms with its dual role as the county seat of largely rural Jefferson County and the host city to the Maharishi University of Management, the institution founded in the 1970s by the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and his followers.

The city of approximately 10,400 residents has the familiar mix of fast-food restaurants, convenience stores and big-box retailers seen in other similarly sized enclaves throughout the state. But it also boasts a retail area filled with yoga studios, wellness centers, high-end coffeehouses and the largest organic and natural foods store in southeast Iowa.

Over the past half-century, most of Iowa’s rural counties have seen a population and economic decline. Fairfield, however, earned the nickname Silicorn Valley during the dot-com boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s, highlighting the presence of dozens of tech and programming companies within its small confines. It’s been touted as the Most Entrepreneurial City in Iowa and the Most Entrepreneurial City in America of its size.

“It’s kind of a side attraction of Fairfield that every once in a while there’s Oprah, or there’s David Lynch or there’s Jim Carrey,” says Dick DeAngelis, a New Jersey native who first came to Fairfield to study in the 1970s and returned a few years after graduation to raise his family. “But it’s also this small, Midwestern hometown steeped in family values and apple pie, which I love.”

City and county leaders say the health and overall success of their community comes through the effective bridging of the small-town experience and the university’s broader draw. The school incorporates Transcendental Meditation alongside more traditional academic offerings, such as majors in computer science, business or art.

“It’s really gratifying to see the culture change so now we don’t talk as much about the difference anymore,” says Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy, who was first elected to the office in 2001. “I’m always tickled when I hear a local person refer to one of our strengths as diversity. I think everybody is on board now. They understand that good values and good things come out of our diversity.”

Read the rest of this excellent US News and World Report, Iowan City Transcends a Divide, written by Jeff Charis-Carlson with photos by Rachel Mummey posted June 20, 2018 on Healthiest Communities: Transcending Together. Fairfield, Iowa, has found success as a home for townies and meditators alike. (Much to my surprise I’m in the third photo towards the end of the article walking under the movie theater marquee.)

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Earlier related news: Fairfield, Iowa, TM and MUM make national news | “Moving America Forward,” a national TV show hosted by William Shatner, to feature Fairfield | @DMRegister’s Rox Laird Features Fairfield, Iowa’s Civic Collaboration and @MaharishiU’s Sustainable Living Center

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