On the St. Louis Walk of Fame on the Delmar Loop, you’ll find a star for Harold Ramis. The director of Ghostbusters and Caddyshack lived in the Chicago area for much of his life, but he attended Washington University, which is like the Harvard of Missouri. He was one of the screenwriters for Animal House, which was partly based on his experience there. Though its alumni include 22 Nobel laureates and its endowment climbs into the billions, that alone ensure the legend of Washington University will live on long past the apocalypse.
Physicists at the extremely gothic campus of the University of Chicago split the atom. You could drop the proverbial mic after that, but alumni include Carl Sagan, Edwin Hubble, Nate Silver, Philip Roth, Studs Terkel, Saul Bellow, Susan Sontag, Sarah Koenig, Kurt Vonnegut, Philip Glass, Seymour Hersh, Eliot Ness, John Paul Stevens, David Broder, Katherine Graham, David Brooks, Milton Friedman, one of the guys who discovered the structure of DNA and the guy who invented the Halo video game series. You might be like “meh” at the latest Renaissance Society exhibit at the University of Chicago, but this is a college that has changed the world in profound ways.
Verdict: The University of Chicago in a nuclear blowout