“A stroll through classified ads from more than a century ago shows that college was once a buyer’s bazaar for qualified students, and universities rolled out the welcome mat and reached out for the students they coveted. Top-drawer universities like Harvard and Columbia advertised for students steadily through August and September right up to opening day and offered entrance exams the weekend before classes resumed to give students every chance of taking and passing them. Harvard even played down the difficulty of its entrance exam in ads, reprinted above, that it placed in The New York Times in September 1870, noting that of the 210 candidates who took its test the June before, “185 were admitted.” … Yale Law School, one of the most sought-after law schools on the planet, ran ads in August 1868, a time when its own future within Yale University was rocky, regaling students with reasons to consider New Haven. They included “access to library without extra charge,” eight weeks of fall vacation, three weeks of spring vacation and a two-week recess “embracing Christmas and New Year.” And, the ad noted, “students can enter or leave at any time.””
Once upon a time, infants were quietly removed from orphanages and delivered to the home economics programs at elite U.S. colleges, where young women were eager to learn the science of mothering. These infants became “practice babies,” living in “practice apartments,” where a gaggle of young “practice mothers” took turns caring for them. After a year or two of such rearing, the babies would be returned to orphanages, where they apparently were in great demand; adoptive parents were eager to take home an infant that had been cared for with the latest “scientific” childcare methods.
Before there was Google or any other search engine, there was a phone-based information hotline at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. It was set up 40 years ago to control rumors at a time when the campus was embroiled in racial violence and anti-war protests. … Surprisingly, the hotline is still being used today.
After interviewing a college student in June, Tory Johnson thought she had found the qualified and enthusiastic intern she craved for her small recruiting firm. Then she received the candidate’s thank-you note, laced with words like “hiya” and “thanx,” along with three exclamation points and a smiley-face emoticon. … smiley faces, hearts and other icons appear in about one of every 10 thank-you emails sent to hiring managers at KPMG LLP, says Blane Ruschak, the New York accounting firm’s national director of university relations and recruiting.