Campus Life

Ivy Chess Set

Here's an encouraging item:

TRENTON, N.J. — David Wang is a young man who's clearly going places. The Princeton University sophomore is gifted with a brilliant mind, a movie-star smile and an understated self-confidence.

Kelvin Washington is a middle-aged man who's not going anywhere for the next 44 years. He's a career criminal who has spent 29 years behind bars for a string of robberies and burglaries.

An unlikely pairing, the two men went head to head Wednesday at the New Jersey State Prison, a maximum-security lockup. Their battlefield: a chess board.

In an unusual cultural exchange program that began six years ago, Princeton students travel to the prison in Trenton, 16 miles from their Ivy League campus, to play chess with the inmates . . .

I like seeing news like this. Too many negative stereotypes have evolved about “elitist" students at America's top colleges and universities. To David Wang and the others involved in this program, I say, “Thank you; well done!" Let's also not forget the Princeton admissions office that sent David a fat envelope. Great admit, people!

Be sure to check out all my admissions-related articles and book reviews at College Confidential.