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Vincennes University (VU) is a public university with its main campus in Vincennes, Indiana. Founded in 1801 as Jefferson Academy, VU is the oldest public institution of higher learning in Indiana. VU was chartered in 1806 as the Indiana Territory's four-year university and remained the state of Indiana's sole publicly funded four-year university until the establishment of Indiana University in 1820. In 1889, VU was chartered by the State of Indiana as a two-year university. From 1999 to 2005, Vincennes University was in a state-mandated partnership with what became the Ivy Tech Community College. In 2005, VU began offering baccalaureate degrees. VU's campus in Vincennes is a residential campus nestled along the banks of the Wabash River. Other VU sites include a campus in Jasper, Indiana, the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics in Fort Branch, Indiana, along with centers for Aviation, Logistics, Advanced Manufacturing, and American Sign Language, in the Indianapolis area.
Evansville is a city in and the county seat of Vanderburgh County, Indiana. The population was 117,429 at the 2010 census, making it the state's third-most populous city after Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, the largest city in Southern Indiana, and the 232nd-most populous city in the United States. It is the central city of the Evansville metropolitan area, a hub of commercial, medical, and cultural activity of Southwestern Indiana and the Illinois–Indiana–Kentucky tri-state area, that is home to over 911,000 people. The 38th parallel crosses the north side of the city and is marked on Interstate 69. Situated on an oxbow in the Ohio River, the city is often referred to as the "Crescent Valley" or "River City". Early French explorers named it La Belle Rivière ("The Beautiful River"). The area has been inhabited by various indigenous cultures for millennia, dating back at least 10,000 years. Angel Mounds was a permanent settlement of the Mississippian culture from 1000 AD to around 1400 AD. The European-American city was founded in 1812. Three NYSE companies (Accuride, Berry Global, and OneMain Financial) are headquartered in Evansville, and three companies traded on NASDAQ (Escalade, Old National Bank, and Shoe Carnival) are also headquartered in Evansville. The city is home to public and private enterprise in many areas, as Evansville serves as the region's economic hub. Evansville is home to Tropicana Evansville, the state's first casino; Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden, one of the state's oldest and largest zoos; and sports tourism industry. The city has several educational institutions. The University of Evansville is a private school on the city's east side, while the University of Southern Indiana is a larger public institution just outside the city's westside limits. The Indiana University School of Medicine also maintains a campus in Evansville. Other local educational institutions include the nationally ranked Signature School and the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library. In 2008, Evansville was voted the best city in the country in which "to live, work, and play" by the readers of Kiplinger, and in 2009 as the 11th best.
Santa Claus is a town in Spencer County, Indiana, United States, in the southwestern part of the state. Located in Carter, Clay and Harrison Townships, it sits between Interstate 64 and the Ohio River. The population was 2,481 at the 2010 census, making it the largest community in Spencer County. The town was established in 1854 and known as Santa Fe (). In 1856, when the town was working to establish a post office, the Post Office Department refused their first application as there was already a Santa Fe, Indiana established with the Post Office Department. Several town meetings were held, during which the name Santa Claus was selected. The town has the world's only post office to bear the name of the eponymous Christmas figure. Because of this popular name, the post office receives thousands of letters to Santa from all over the world each year. A group of volunteers known as Santa's Elves ensures each child receives a reply from Santa Claus; this tradition has been in existence since at least 1914. Every year, the post office also creates a special Christmas hand-cancellation pictorial postmark for use during December, which also attracts mail from all over the world. The pictorial postmark is chosen each year from submissions from art students at nearby Heritage Hills and South Spencer High Schools. Santa Claus has grown substantially since the 1990 census, which recorded 927 residents. A majority of Santa Claus residents live within the gated community of Christmas Lake Village, which was developed in the late 1960s by Bill Koch. It consists of 2,500 acres (10 km2) developed around three lakes: Christmas Lake, Lake Holly, and Lake Noel. The street names in Christmas Lake Village are all named after the Christmas season. Many residents also live in Holiday Village, a subdivision on the north side of town. Santa Claus is the home to numerous themed attractions including: Santa's Candy Castle, Santa Claus Museum, Holiday World & Splashin' Safari, Frosty's Fun Center, Christmas Lake Golf Course, and Santa's Stables. It is also home to Santa's Lodge and Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort.