Washington University

Today, my daughter fell in love.

Let me clarify. It wasn’t with a young man. It was with a university. Washington University in St. Louis to be specific.

Today we visited Wash U. Wash U is a medium-size university at the edge of Forest Park in St. Louis. The undergraduate population is about 6K, about half of which are in the college of arts and sciences. The program is very flexible, permitting a student to design their own concentrations to meet their unique needs. It is intellectually challenging, and has a wonderful compact campus with a beautiful residence hall complex. It has history, dating back to 1853, moving to the current campus shortly before the 1903 St. Louis exposition. It is an entirely non-smoking campus. We spoke to two undergraduates and one of the history professors, and they all spoke about how great Wash U was: both intellectually, socially, and personally. It is not a party school: the only partying is at the frats, which are off campus, in university-owned buildings. There are options for significant undergraduate research, internships in DC, and study abroad programs. The history program has significant breadth in US history and other history subjects, and there is a broad Poli Sci program. There are also opportunities for Erin to do lighting design on campus. [Alas, I don’t remember a lot of the details they told us, as I was fighting a bad headache much of the day]

Wash U also holds a special place for me. It is my mother’s alma-mater, and it is in a city with which I still have a family and friend connection. This means that if Erin chose to go to Wash U and got accepted, she would have family and extended family in town. That would make us feel better about her being far away; hopefully it would make her feel better as well.

What are the drawbacks to Wash U? Well, Erin is worried about acceptance, but I figure that shouldn’t be a problem. It is about as expensive at Tulane, so we would need reasonable financial assistance. I figure that we apply for all we can apply for, and if it is meant to be, we’ll get acceptance and appropriate support.

Dinner was with my cousin Les at Westwood Country Club in St. Louis. As always when we visit Westwood, it was a delightful meal. I always enjoy seeing Les and Jean; tonight was no exception.

Tomorrow is our last full day on this trip. We plan to explore Forest Park, one of the great city parks in the world (it’s larger than NY’s Central Park!). We’ll visit the St. Louis Zoo, the history museum, the art museum, and who knows what else! The evening will bring Shabbat services at UH and dinner with my dear friend Linda.