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I think the term "deep south" is often a distinction without a difference. College campuses are most commonly pretty open minded and inclusive. There are many states well north of the Mason Dixon line that have rural areas that are pretty closed minded.
"Who knew" that most colleges and universities are nurturing, supportive environments where young adults can grow, mature and come into their own? Really? That is a surprising comment coming from someone who "found his people" at a southern university.