Georgetown gets compliments and contempt—all in one column!

The perfect Post columnist to have love-hate relationship with

There’s some good news and some bad news for Georgetown in Jay Mathews’ recent Washington Post column.  The good news: He thinks Georgetown qualifies as an “elite” university!  The bad news: He doesn’t think going to an “elite” university is important in the slightest.

Mathews’ Monday article urges students to focus on their experiences in their respective colleges and not get caught up in the name or prestige.

The article cites examples of “heroes” who did and didn’t attend prestigious, brand-name schools to argue why the college doesn’t determine one’s success in life. Billionaire businessman Warren Buffett, for example, attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln; Oprah went to Tennessee State; and singer Bette Midler spent her college years at the University of Hawaii (I, for one, cannot imagine Bette Midler throwing a shaka sign).

Mathews concludes:

No one is sure where greatness comes from. These lists make clear that it does not have much to do with the name of the college on someone’s diploma …

Researchers Stacy Berg Dale and Alan Krueger found that admirable character traits—persistence, imagination, energy—produce success in life no matter which college a person attends.

While it’s depressing how quickly Mathews dismisses Georgetown’s hard-fought elite status, it does makes us feel better to know that the annoyingly knowledgeable kid in Econ isn’t necessarily the next Wall Street tycoon—or at least one can hope.

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