We’re geeks and proud of it

Case Western Reserve University has been named one of the top ten geekiest colleges in the nation. (You can see the rankings in other categories here.) The list was compiled by HerCampus. In its description of my university, the site says:

It would be a complete shock to hear a dim-witted exchange on this campus, considering College Prowler ranked Case Western as having the seventh smartest guys and the 17th smartest girls in the US. You’d think the first date conversations would be the best, but apparently, “having a better computer is more important than a girlfriend” at Case Western, according to one Urban Dictionary definition.

While one student on StudentsReview gave the school a A- for Educational Quality, Case Western bombed the Social Life category with a big, fat F. But students don’t seem to mind the apparently lacking social scene because high school graduates are flocking to this nerdy paradise—the school gained significant recognition for its academics in 2011 when student applications increased by more than 44 percent!

I think that in the US, people over-inflate the importance that young people attach to just having a good time. It seems like it is part of the general tendency to disparage the younger generation, as if they are somehow not as serious as their parent’s generation. I think that while some young people undoubtedly do see college as a time to let loose, I suspect that these are a minority and that most are in college to get (surprise!) a good education that will sustain them through life.

Our students are not party animals but they are a delightful group: friendly, polite and seem to enjoy life but definitely take their academics seriously. What’s not to like about that? When our faculty and administrators discuss our concerns, one of them is that our students take too many courses and impose too much academic pressures on themselves.

So I for one welcome this recognition. That is who we are and we glory in it.


  1. trucreep says

    Sounds like the embodiment of the spirit of University: A place where all ideas can be exchanged freely. I’d say that’s an honor! :]

  2. Al Dente says

    The difference between a geek and a nerd is defined by how they finish the following phrase: “May the force be…”.

    A nerd will say “…equal to mass times acceleration.”

    A geek will say “…with you.”

    I suspect your geeky university is more nerdy.

  3. machintelligence says

    My daughter graduated from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech). There were about 8 male undergraduates to each female. The word on dating at Tech was that the odds were good, but the goods were odd.
    Also, you can’t spell geek without double E.

  4. Vote for Pedro says

    One of my favorite things was reading in the alumni magazine an article about the football coach at Case after two consecutive undefeated regular seasons. I got a real kick out of him mentioning the players bringing their books/homework to practice, and said something like ‘it’s a bit different here.’

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