Why I chose Loyola

Forum Extra

June 04, 1991|By William Desmond

BALTIMORE — I WRITE to object to your views (Other Voices, May 31) on my fTC essay (May 21), "Tell Harvard I'm not home."

In my essay I did not include any reference to my parents working at Loyola College simply because that was not relevant to my argument. The thrust of the article was to query the prevalent lemming-like attitudes of many people toward name-brand schools. It seems that some readers missed my point. However, I would have expected that Mike Bowler, the Other Voices editor, would surely understand the gist of the article.

My decision to attend Loyola College was not determined by finances. While money was a factor (when is it not?), I chose Loyola for educational reasons. After all, Harvard and Yale offered me more money than Loyola did, and I could have afforded the Ivies if I were convinced that they would offer me a better education. More, other similarly prestigious schools made offers of full or nearly full tuition, offers which I turned down in favor of Loyola. In any case, even if my parents were not faculty, I would have had free tuition at Loyola because of a Presidential and other scholarships.

Thus, in no way was I attempting to deceive or to be "disingenuous," as a letter writer to the New York Times put it. Later in the week that my essay was published in both The Evening Sun and the Times, I spoke to a Times reporter and told him of my free tuition at Loyola, which demonstrates that I had nothing to hide. My article was disingenuous only in so far as I didn't cover all aspects of my college decision. But again, the cost of education was not my focus, and I could not say everything in such a short article. If I wrote a detailed log of my college search, you would still be reading it!

I want to emphasize again that I had no intention of deceiving. I am hurt by and disillusioned with the outcome of this whole affair. Because of it, I seem to be "in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes." My reputation seems to have been tarnished not only with Harvard, Yale, etc., but also with the New York Times, The Evening Sun and some of their readers. Even more disheartening is my fear that these letters and editorials reflect badly on Loyola College and on my high school, Loyola High School.

This whole experience has left me with a new appreciation for the complaints of many politicians about a press which knows how to pick and choose details. The politicians always reply to nosy reporters, "No comment." If only I had been so wise.

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