“Are you anxious about getting into college?” Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania, asked 200 high school juniors and seniors on Thursday.
With attitude, the students returned a chorus of yeses, their jangly nerves almost palpable.
Dr. Gutmann was visiting Eleanor Roosevelt High School on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Forty percent of the school’s students are first-generation Americans, and 40 percent will be the first in their families to attend college.
“You’re not human if you’re not anxious,” Dr. Gutmann responded.
One of four female presidents in the Ivy League, she began by describing her own high school experience. She then made a disclosure that seemed to surprise many of her young listeners: she was, she told them, the first in her family to attend college.
The audience, which had seemed somewhat skeptical to this point, now appeared to be warming to her. Their voices quieted to absolute silence, so much so that she was able to speak without a microphone.
Read the full report by Rebecca R. Ruiz on The Choice blog.