|Location:||Permian Basin, Texas|
|Current status:||Thriving mid-sized town.|
The University of Texas campus in Odessa, known as the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, weathered the end of the world quite well. Centuries later it still fulfills its purpose, after a fashion.
In addition to being an institute of higher learning, UTPB was built to serve as a civil defense and tornado shelter and included a number of architectural embellishments that were intended to make violent student demonstrations more difficult. These, combined with its location on the east side of town, between bombing sites attributed to its survival. The school housed a large group of survivors, who quickly turned to the respected physician Beauregard Capehart for leadership. In the weeks following the war, Dr. Capehart realized that, contrary to his expectations, there was to be no continuity of government. He realized that without hospitals or proper triage, there were going to be many people suffering for lack of medical care.
The grim prospect of months or even years of these circumstances haunted him; what if things never approached normalcy again? Dreading the loss of his skill set to future generations, Capehart, with the help of the nurse practitioner from his office set about educating every survivor in UTPB in the basics of first aid. Students with greater aptitude were taken aside to be taught increasingly advanced skill sets such as field surgery and midwifing. With the help of a pharmacist who stepped up from the ranks of the survivors, the others were taught about drug dosing and interactions. Throughout the process, the importance of teaching these skills to others was drilled into the populace. When Capehart passed away in 2087, he could count no full doctors among his students; but he passed easy knowing that they would be better equipped than other survivors.
The populace had spent a decade in and around the campus and began to see it as an entity separate from destroyed Odessa, and thus they named their home Mesa, after the main academic and administrative building. The people of Mesa eventually came into contact with ghouls from the western ruins and after some tension, came to a peaceful accord with the wretches; even allowing them the use of an unoccupied dormitory. They sent representatives to the eventual Yucca Council and became a founding member of the Midessa Compact.
The people of Mesa are tolerant of outsiders, by the standards of the people in the Midessa Compact at least. They'll at least consider the possibility that outsiders are more than potential threats or sources of revenue; this has to do with the small population of students from "out of town," coming from the small towns primarily in the south.
Mesa is a place of learning and will provide a basic education to outsiders of any age, bartering in goods or services in exchange. Most anyone who can read, write, perform arithmetic, and have any grasp of history in the area learned from the teachers of Mesa. They do teach more advanced courses, including the extremely basic medicine as taught by Dr. Capehart and his two assistants all those years ago. A Vault or Brotherhood trained physician would likely look down their nose at this second-hand education, but Mesa alumni have saved many lives in the last two centuries.
Mesa is governed by a committee, with all the teachers meeting in the Mesa Building to make any important decisions. Policing is handled by volunteer senior students.