New York Times Op-Ed Writer Frank Bruni has published a new book titled, “Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania.” The thrust of the book is that your college diploma does not define your success. To prove his point, Bruni tries to find people who are accomplished by didn’t go to a top school. He combs through the 2014 Forbes “30 under 30” list, and found “no shortage of graduates of schools that aren’t especially selective. There were several alumni of my alma matter, Penn State.” Gee thanks.
One, Josh Blackman, was a law professor who had written a book about the constitutional challenge to Obamacare and had founded FantasySCOTUS, a popular Supreme Court online fantasy league and prediction market.
I went to Penn State for College and George Mason for law school. Neither degree helped me much in obtaining my current job. In recent years, my undergraduate institution has become something of a punch line, beyond its usual academic reputation. My Mason diploma, matched with my conservative and libertarian views, probably inhibited my academic aspirations. (Although the first-rate legal education I received at GMU was worth far more than an Ivy League diploma). I do find often that when someone meets me, they are surprised, or even disappointed that I went to Penn State and GMU, as if there is some kind of mismatch between their expectations and my resume. I don’t let it bother me. I am much, much more proud of my accomplishment since graduation than anything my diploma says. So sure. Where I went did not define who I am.
In case you’re interested, here is the full page: