Last Thursday, the future Harvard Class of 2018 received the emails of their lifetime. In honor of Decision Day, FM collected some acceptance stories from both current students and faculty and staff who once attended Harvard College.
Gus A. Mayopoulous ‘15
“I didn’t want to be around when the rejection letter came in, so I went out for Chinese food, and I returned after the email had arrived. I had just finished reading my Brown rejection letter, and I clicked on the next email… and it said ‘Congratulations, we welcome you to the class of 2014!’...I started screaming on the floor, and my mom came in thinking I was having a medical issue. She was so excited she called my dad and my dad said I probably misread it and that she should read it. Then it was confirmed, and the rest is happy history.”
Kaitlyn A. Gibson ‘17
“On the day that admissions came out, I was at a ski race in Mammoth, Calif. I had just learned that Harvard had a ski team that year, so I sent in an application to see if the coach wanted me. It was definitely a shot in the dark. I’d requested to have my admissions decision sent by snail mail rather than email, and the day it came out I was thinking ‘Oh my gosh, I’m in California, and that letter is going to Canada.’ So I called the ski coach and he looked into it for me. He calls me back when I was at the top of the mountain about to go down for my ski race, and in a very nonchalant way he says “I just checked with our admissions liaison, and that letter has a yes on it, so you’re in.” I started screaming into my phone, I was so excited. I did my ski race a few minutes later… I didn’t do very well in that race, but I did not care at all, and I think I won the very next race after that.”
William R. Fitzsimmons ‘67
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid
(in an email to The Crimson)
“I was pumping gas at our family gas station and convenience store in Weymouth, Massachusetts (15 miles away from Cambridge), when my mother brought the mail across the street from our home. I opened the Harvard letter with her and a customer there, and we all celebrated on the spot. The customer was a railway worker originally from Maine and a good family friend. He asked immediately in his Maine accent, “Does this mean you’re going to end up with a Harvard accent?””
Harry R. Lewis ‘68,
Professor of Computer Science
(in an email to The Crimson)
“I was at school. No email or cell phones, of course. When I got home, my parents were at work, but the letter, in an ordinary business envelope, was dangling from a string tied to a light fixture in the center of the kitchen so I couldn’t miss it. I found out later that my father couldn’t wait and had steamed it open and resealed it!”
Timothy P. McCarthy ‘93,
Lecturer on History and Literature and on Public Policy (in an email to The Crimson)
“I was in the athletic trainer’s office in my large public high school in upstate New York, getting ready for a track meet against one of our big rivals. I had been having some problems with my knee my senior year—growing pains, I suppose—so I was icing and heating it before the meet. My father, who was also my high school basketball coach and athletic director, came bursting in the room. ‘Do you want to see what you got from Harvard?’ I ripped open the large envelope with the crimson shield. ‘Dear Timothy: Congratulations, you have been admitted into the...’ That was all I read. I screamed. I hugged my dad. I hugged our trainer. I ran into the weight room. Then the basketball gym. Then out into the main hallway. I told everyone I could see: students, teachers, hall monitors, administrators, custodians, anyone. I ran out the door and down to the track, screaming all the way: ‘I got into Harvard. I’m going to Harvard.’ My entire team was running up from the track to greet me, to hug me, to celebrate with me. That night, I went out to dinner at my favorite restaurant with my closest friends and teammates, all of whom, I remember, were so happy for me, bragging to the people at the restaurant that their buddy had just gotten into Harvard. It was one of the best days of my life, a moment that reminded me that wherever I was going had everything to do with where I came from."