Professor Appiah reminds us that “we should avoid creating honor worlds that grant so much standing to the successful that they imply a disrespect for the rest of us.” We also should ask ourselves: When does “honorable” school pride cross the line into the realm of hubris?
I believe the author is reminding us not to confuse the good fortune to have attended “the best damned place of all” with believing that we are better than the other 90-plus percent that didn’t get in, or those who didn’t even apply.
In 20 years of interviewing students for Princeton admission, I often have enjoyed the opportunity to be humbled by applicants who are “smarter” than me and probably more qualified for admission than I was, but most of them were not admitted. Yet I remain confident that most of them will make a far greater impact on the planet than I can ever hope. This is the ultimate privilege of serving on the Schools Committee.