Harvard University’s Thurston Howell III (Gilligan’s Island), besides having the whitest name in history, is, of course, an allegory representing his brethren from Cambridge. Trapped on an island, he’s just like every other Harvard alumnus: alone. Harvardian isolation comes from many sources—an abnormal inflation of self, a woeful lack of social skills, or having gone so batshit crazy in Lamebridge that you lock yourself in a cabin in the woods and mail people bombs. However, Howell sticks out in his solitude by literally being isolated on an island—albeit with some commoners. (Of course, he retains the famed Harvard “work ethic” by refusing to perform physical labor.) Preferring Bearitas to Veritas, he further shows a social disconnect by sleeping with his Teddy more than his wife.
Students at Princeton University have a particular and peculiar translation for their motto, Dei sub numine viget: God went to Princeton. Uhh, what? Either Princeton’s Classics department is failing, or the school has one heck of an ego problem. Anyways, here’s a guy (God) who claims to be all for justice, but likes to kill little boys (Exodus 11:5), is super possessive of a tree (Genesis 2:17, not unlike that other Princetonian from Harold & Kumar), and just generally doesn’t want us to have a good time.
Speaking of people with multiple personas, another Princephonian is Bruce Wayne. A Classics major, Wayne (hopefully) knows that Princeton’s motto actually means Under God’s power she flourishes. Otherwise? Leave it to a Princeton guy to lack any superpowers, but still have the audacity to fight crime in tight clothes—and leave it to a Classics major to revive pederasty. Gotham’s defending knight? Or weird pedophile? Probably a little of both; either way, the new film is gonna be way better than The Avengers, in addition to actually staring an Ivy League superhero. (Like, c’mon, Tony Stark went to MIT…sooo not Ivy League.)
Lacking the legitimacy to have a Wikipedia page for fictional affiliates of the University, Penn was particularly difficult to research. However, they can boast about It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Dennis. An actual alumnus of University of Pennsylvainia, this narcissistic asshat is clearly compensating for something. (Alternate pun: University of Pennsyl(dick)vania.) With students as bankrupt of virtue as this character, it seems Penn’s motto should have been alumni sine moribus vani. Unfortunately, all Dennis can brag about, with that expensive degree, is owning a bar, of which he’s not even the sole proprietor.
Mr. Burns, of The Simpsons, makes a nice Yalie. Pernicious, perfidious, and most of all, pretentious, he retains his Yaliness by being defined by what he is not: a Harvardian. See, Mr. Burns lives constantly in the shadow of the much greater, and hated, Shelbyville. Consequently, he is given to heinous ostentations to compensate for second place. One can imagine him thinking:
O Cruel world! Why did Harvard pass me to Yale? To make my life a most tempestuous gale? I’ll make up for it by acting with such pomp, showing I went to school in New England’s dump. The educated burger is not Bartley’s! We made the name to show we too are smarties. We had to do it, because it was in doubt. Now the rules of modesty, we shall flout.
However, Mr. Burns does join the ranks of powerful, controlling Yalies like so many Presidents.
Alright, so what have we learned? To recap: Brunonians like drugs, Columbians think they can save the world in tight clothes, Cornellians are failures, Dartmouthians (or Dartmothians?) are annoying loud-mouths, and Harvardians are, well, you know. Princetonians are megalomaniacs. Duh. We’re unsure whether they’re good or bad. Quakers (excluding the Religious Society of Friends) are debauched egomaniacs, and Yalies are, as we know, always sad to be in second place.