'Yale Shmale': Northern Ontario University Rips Bush, Ivy League School

Dennis Faas's picture

In the midst of my scouring the web for the day's most interesting tech headlines, I stumbled across something completely unrelated to Microsoft, Apple, or even Sony. Why'd I decide to click, and then comment on it? Call it national interest.

As a recent MA History graduate who wrote his thesis on border economics and culture, it appeared particularly fascinating that Thunder Bay, Ontario's Lakehead University has recently attracted the ire of American yuppies with its public criticism of Yale University, whose amlumnae include the last three U.S. Presidents.

So, what is Lakehead's controversial slam against Yale? Well, as a tactic to get the most intelligent students from Northern Ontario to stay in the region for post-secondary studies (instead of flocking south of the border), the school has adopted the slogan, "Yale, Shmale". Featured prominently is America's current president, a figure it -- much like a "Daily Show" episode -- uses to call into question the quality of education brought by attending the Ivy League school. (Source: yaleshmale.com)

Now, although Canada recently elected a Conservative Party leader in the form of Stephen Harper, our American readers should know that the country remains quite liberal when compared to our friends south of the border. In this writer's opinion, Michael Moore could find a nice, quiet cottage in Muskoka and no one would ever egg his front window.

Prominent tech sites, such as CNET News, are blogging angrily over Lakehead's comments. One journalist went so far as to say, "The last three U.S. presidents have Yale degrees: Bush I, Clinton, Bush II. On Lakehead's alumni site I was impressed by an alumnus who was getting a bronze medal for his hockey prowess." Sure, Lakehead doesn't typically graduate U.S. presidents or even Canadian Prime Ministers. And true, the most recognized alumnus I could see was NHL defenceman Chris Pronger's dad. (Source: news.com)

The point Lakehead is making, in my opinion, is that the cost of Yale might not be worth it. They're not trying to bring young Americans with a summer spot in Martha's Vineyard or the Hamptons to Thunder Bay, Ontario. The winter semester would, literally, kill them. But, considering a Canadian audience full of intelligent young people ready to enter the university world, Lakehead makes an interesting point by questioning Bush and Yale. It's a liberal audience, one that might simply think, "why pay four times the tuition cost for a university that graduated THAT guy?"

In all likelihood, no one from Northern Ontario is soon going to be strolling the halls of the West Wing, Yale degree or not.

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