The Bottom 10

As letters from college admissions offices were sent out last week, I couldn't help recalling the late R. Hugh ("Pat") Uhlmann, a Dartmouth man of antic temperament, who used to tout a daring idea for taking the pressure off any college that is regularly forced to turn away the progeny of many prosperous and influential citizens: Auction off the last 10 places in the class.

I should acknowledge that Pat, a friend of mine from Kansas City who was in the flour business, regularly had ideas that some people, particularly his wife, did not take completely seriously. For instance, the deterioration...

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