When it comes to the best and most storied academic institutions of higher learning in the US, it just seems to come down to eight universities in the northeast gathered together in an athletic conference that has evolved from its first meaning to something more. The Ivy League, said to have been nicknamed from the ivy plants growing on their walls (7 founded in Colonial times, 1 post-Civil War), has long stood in the American consciousness for academic excellence, a sense of elitism, and some of the most selective standards in student admission. In the old days getting into an Ivy League university was a remarkable accomplishment, while receiving admission letters to more than one was like a superhuman feat.
CNN tells us that in recent days some pretty amazing teens have done these things and more so, with reports of no less than two separate Ivy League hopefuls gaining admission to all eight of them (Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, Dartmouth and Brown) at the same time, just a few days apart. In addition, a set of quadruplet boys all got admissions to three that they all applied to at the same time, along with some other universities that they chose separately from each other.
The 2017 Ivy League admission avalanche of sorts started with Ifeoma White-Thorpe, a senior and student government president at Morris Hills High School at Rockaway, New Jersey. Out of her interest in biology and a desire to get into a global health-related career, she decided to apply to all of the Ivy League universities due to them having “great research facilities”, in her own words. White-Thorpe had been pleasantly surprised to get a yes from them one after the other, and by the time she opened the eighth acceptance letter she was ecstatic. “I was like, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, like this might be eight out of eight and I clicked it and it said ‘Congratulations’ and I was like oh my goodness!” she gushed in an interview with WABC-TV, a CNN affiliate.
Next on the roll was Martin Altenburg, senior at North High School in Fargo, North Dakota. A pseudo-renaissance teen involved in athletics and music and runs a Twitter account for – of all things – his scientific calculator, Altenburg made not just the Ivy League sweep, but was accepted at Stanford and MIT as well.
Finally, there’s the incredible feat of the Wade brothers – Nigel, Zachary, Aaron and Nick – from Lakota East High School in Butler County, Ohio. All academically gifted but with separate interests, they still managed to pull a triple play by applying to, and gaining admission, at Harvard, Yale and Duke. Their mother Kim Wade said of the achievement, “The worst anyone can say is ‘no’. We told them ‘If you want to apply, apply’. When (the schools) said yes, they felt elated and blessed.”
None of these happy campers have decided which IL universities they’ll choose, but the choice is now before them. So congratulations.
Photo courtesy of philuscollegeadmissions.com