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When DeeAnn Brewer '89 applied to Harvard last January, she was the first student from Holyoke High School in tiny Holyoke, Colo., to vie for entry into an Ivy League School. Neither she nor her school counselor had ever heard of Achievement Tests.
"Half my graduating class of 35 people went to local colleges, and the other half got married and took over their parents' farms," Brewer says.
The Colorado native is just one of nearly 1600 students who have told Harvard they'll be moving in come September. The Class of '89 will gravitate to Cambridge from all 50 states and as many foreign countries to take their best shot at the Harvard experience."
And, as admissions officers in Byerly Hall have promised, the incoming freshman class will represent a wide range of interests and achievements. Diversity is, after all, the name of the game at Harvard.
"I'm looking forward to meeting people who are really interested in education and people from different cultures," Brewer says.
When she leaves her agricultural hometown near the Colorado-Nebraska border, Brewer says she'll be looking forward to "living in the city for the first time." Having passed up offers of admission from the University of Denver, Yale and Columbia, Brewer hopes to study either Psychology or English during her four years in Cambridge.
Yale also got a thumbs-down from Susan N. Dekle '89, whose twin sister will attend the New Haven school. "People think it's funny that we're going to rival schools," says the Savannah, Ga. native. "We visited the Harvard campus, and I fell in love with Cambridge and Boston--Harvard's atmosphere is better than Yale's atmosphere."
Dekle, who danced with a professional ballet troupe during high school, says she "can't wait to perform at Harvard."
Like many incoming freshmen, however, the Southerner says she has some fears. "I'm not very good with cold weather, but I figure I can get a lot of leg warmers."
Dekle, who went to an all-girls Catholic high school, adds that she hopes to major in Biochemistry and to perform in musicals while at Harvard. "You know you can't go wrong with a Harvard education," she says.
The Georgia native will find she has a lot in common with one of her classmates from across the country. Ellen R. Pinchuk '89, who comes to Harvard from the Westlake School in Los Angeles, also decided not to go to Yale. And, like Dekle, Pinchuk says people have warned her about New England winters.
"When I tell people where I'm going to college, they first say, 'Oh, that's good,' then they say, 'You're gonna freeze your butt off,'" says Pinchuk. "But I think I was meant to be an Easterner."
The Californian was accepted early action at Harvard and says she can't wait to head to Cambridge. "It was going to be Yale early action, but I Yale and was so disappointed. I saw Harvard and loved it." She has already begun deciding which freshman seminars she'll try to take.