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Yale Quotes


"For God, for Country, and for Yale!" - Henry S. Durand

"And Yale is November, crisp and energetic." - F Scott Fitzgerald

"I was off to Yale to be a lesbian" - Judith Butler

"A whaleship was my Yale College and my Harvard." - Herman Melville

"When I left Yale, I was prepared to write anything." - Mitch Leigh

"I applied to Yale, and I got in." - Mitch Leigh

"A whale ship was my Yale College and my Harvard." - Herman Melville

"I got accepted at Yale but never went." - Shia Labeouf

"I was planning on going to Yale to theater school." - Shia Labeouf

"Yale men do not like to be told anything by people who didn't go to Yale. The closest I came to Yale was once I had one of their padlocks." - George Burns

"When I graduated [from Yale], I went back to Larry [Kramer]. But when I go to Yale reunions, there are still people who call me David." - Kevin Sessums

"At Yale we don't just want to make new things, we want to make things better." - Peter Salovey

"One thing I learned particularly at Yale was how to work with others" - Trai Byers

"At Yale we do' just want to make new things, we want to make things better." - Peter Salovey

"I have never heard that referred to before, that term: Jewish men from Yale." - Kevin Sessums

"Kingman Brewster Jr., 69, Ex-Yale President and U.S. Envoy, Dies in The New York Times" - Kingman Brewster Jr

"Also, while I was at Yale, I had a job teaching kids at the museum." - Robert T Bakker

"When I got out of Yale Drama School, I was completely broke." - Courtney B Vance

"So I decided to start writing plays, and went to Yale." - Richard Foreman

"You know, actually, I went to Yale because I wanted to stay out of the army." - Richard Foreman

"I flew back and forth and did episodes of Roseanne while I was at Yale." - Sara Gilbert

"The best teaching I ever experienced was at Exeter. Yale was a distinct letdown afterward." - John Knowles

"I graduated in 1930 and I went up to the Yale Drama School for two years." - Albert Maltz

"Yale is practicing a most unusual media strategy. I'd call it Just say nothing." - Merrie Spaeth

"When I was in school, my mother stressed education. I am so glad she did. I graduated from Yale College and Yale University with my master's and I didn't do it by missing school." - Angela Bassett

"There were several things a Yale freshman was supposed to be able to do. You had to demonstrate in the Olympic-size Yale pool that you could swim 50 yards or be inducted into swimming class." - Dick Cavett

"I grew up in Brownsville; most of the kids I grew up with went to jail, not Yale. If they had heard of Yale, they thought it was a lock to pick." - Mitch Leigh

"To cite my own alma mater, it's shocking to me that Yale University can teach what it teaches at the Yale School of Environmental Studies and utterly fail to mirror those values in any way in its investment practices." - Edward Norton

"A girl just asked for SAT scores good enough to get her into Yale. I think she was nine." - Richelle Mead

"I learned more at The Second City than I did at Yale for all that high tuition." - Robert Klein

"The motto of Harvard isn't 'nice,' it's truth. The motto of Yale isn't 'light and nice,' it's light and truth." - Scott Kenemore

"Other kids are brought up nice and sent to Harvard and Yale. Me? I was brought up like a mushroom." - Frank Costello

"We didn't know each other [with Larry Kramer at Yale], but we had a lot of mutual friends." - Kevin Sessums

"I did improv at Yale, with the Exit Players. It was great, but they played a little rough." - Allison Silverman

"If all the girls who attended the Yale prom were laid end to end, I wouldn't be a bit surprised." - Dorothy Parker

"If all the girls attending [the Yale prom] were laid end to end, I wouldn't be at all surprised." - Dorothy Parker

"To go from Yale to the National League is simply to go from one form of management to another." - A Bartlett Giamatti

"I'm not impressed by people's degrees. Harvard doesn't impress me, Yale doesn't impress me, Columbia doesn't impress me." - Sean Hannity

"In law school, I earned the respect of professors and served on the editorial board of 'The Yale Law Journal.'" - Randall Kennedy

"And the only studies were - Rodney Dangerfield was my mentor and he was my Yale drama school for comedy." - Robert Klein

"By the time I came down from Yale, I was already more radicalized and had begun to read New Masses." - Albert Maltz

"I always wanted to put a sign up on the road to Yale saying, 'Beware: Deconstruction Ahead.'" - Gloria Steinem

"I studied literature and Italian at Yale. I wrote my thesis about Italo Svevo, one of my heroes." - Nathaniel Rich

"It might be said now that I have the best of both worlds. A Harvard education and a Yale degree." - John F Kennedy

"The U.S. is blessed with tremendously creative and imaginative law students at places like Chicago, Harvard, Columbia and Yale." - Cass Sunstein

"Yale places great stress on undergraduate and graduate teaching. I like teaching, and I do a lot of it." - James Tobin

"Shutting down governments on your computer is just as much as fun as going to a riot at Yale." - John Waters

"John Kerry's victory over Howard Dean has completely changed the presidential race around. Now instead of the rich white guy from Yale who lives in the White house facing off against the rich white guy from Yale who lives in Vermont, he may have to face the rich white guy from Yale who lives in Massachusetts. It's a whole different game." - Jay Leno

"The students at Yale came from all different backgrounds and all parts of the country. Within months, I knew many of them." - George W Bush

"The men-the undergraduates of Yale and Princeton are cleaner, healthier, better-looking, better dressed, wealthier and more attractive than any undergraduate body in the country." - F Scott Fitzgerald

"People think because I went to Yale that that implies privilege, and it is a privilege in the sense that it's an incredible opportunity." - Edward Norton

"Yale has influenced the Central Intelligence Agency more than any other university, giving the CIA the atmosphere of a class reunion." - Gaddis Smith

"The men - the undergraduates of Yale and Princeton are cleaner, healthier, better-looking, better dressed, wealthier and more attractive than any undergraduate body in the country." - Anonymous

"If all the young ladies who attended the Yale promenade dance were laid end to end, no one would be the least surprised." - Dorothy Parker

"Hair matters. This is a life lesson Wellesley and Yale Law School failed to instil. Your hair will send significant messages to those around you." - Hillary Clinton

"The reputation Hillary Clinton had at Wellesley and Yale was, "My God, this woman single-handedly could end up running the world! This is the smartest woman!"" - Rush Limbaugh

"The work that I wanted to create wasn't being done then. I was too much concerned about fellow students, professors, institutional style [in Yale]." - Kehinde Wiley

"That's why I tried to kill myself when I was a student [in Yale]. I thought I was the only one there." - Kevin Sessums

""Weenie" was definitely a word we used at Yale back then. But I'm not sure you were one, Larry [Kramer]. Also, you were going by a different name." - Kevin Sessums

"I had a very pleasant three years at Yale. I must say I did take it seriously, and consequently it took me a while to get over it." - Will Davis Campbell

"[To Yale football players:] Gentlemen, you are now going out to play football against Harvard. Never again in your life will you do anything so important." - T. A. D. Jones

"I studied voice at Yale with Blake Stern from the music school, and he had me singing German lieder and Italian songs." - Michael Cerveris

"I used to teach at Yale, which was at one time a center of postmodernist literary theory. Derrida was there. Paul de Man was there." - Harry Frankfurt

"You tell me one other person that graduated from Yale that is as inarticulate as Bush. Yale's a great school, and here's this idiot." - Al Jourgensen

"When I was a college student at Yale, I was studying physics and mathematics and was absolutely intent on becoming a theoretical physicist." - James Rothman

"I wrote fiction during my entire childhood, from age 4 to 18, and started writing plays when I went to Yale and Oxford." - Taiye Selasi

"Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and the rest of the Ivy League are worthy institutions, to be sure, but they're not known for educating large numbers of poor young people." - Robert Reich

"I look at the kids coming out of Yale. They are so intelligent with their careers. I wish I had that." - Dianne Wiest

"I really liked Yale, although it was extremely intimidating. When I visited the campus, I was hiding behind trees, I felt so unworthy." - Claire Danes

"Scratch a Yale man with both hands and you'll be lucky to find a coast-guard. Usually you find nothing at all." - F Scott Fitzgerald

"Researches at Yale found a connection between brain cancer and work environment. The No. 1 most dangerous job for developing brain cancer? Plutonium hat model." - Jimmy Fallon

"I auditioned for 'Girls' the fall after I graduated from Yale. The show has been amazing - as close to perfect as it gets!" - Allison Williams

"Well, I was lucky in that my being an actress totally overshadowed my having some kind of a... legacy at Yale, so that was kind of great." - Jordana Brewster

"I'd love to go to school and have a normal life, but I don't see any professor at Yale being able to teach me more than Steven Spielberg." - Shia Labeouf

"I was so unhappy as a child in Washington I figured if I'm going to Yale, I am going to start a new life. I'll change my name to my middle name. So I was known for my four years at Yale as David Kramer." - Kevin Sessums

"I've been a professor of mathematics at Harvard and at Yale. At Yale for a long time. But I'm not a mathematician only. I'm a professor of physics, of economics, a long list. Each element of this list is normal. The combination of these elements is very rare at best." - Benoit Mandelbrot

"I went to college at Harvard, then did three years of graduate school at Yale. At both places I studied comparative literature. People find it odd that I went to both Harvard and Yale, and I guess it is odd, but that's just what people did where I grew up." - Lev Grossman

"The only thing I have ever been asked [by a pollster] was the age at which I first indulged in oral sex (which, since it was a Yale Daily News poll, meant kissing)." - Paul Rudnick

"Yale is a crucible in American life for the accommodation of intellectual achievement, of wisdom, of refinement, with the democratic ideals of openness, of social justice and of equal opportunity." - Benno C. Schmidt, Jr.

"When one considers our nation's educational foundations - Harvard, Yale, Princeton and most of our respected institutions were originally Christian - it becomes evident why we, as Christians, maintain a passion about remaining true to the foundations of Scripture." - Jonathan Falwell

"If you think that [Yale professor James] Saiers is in the greenhouse skeptics camp, then, if we can find documentary evidence of this, we could go through official AGU channels to get him ousted." - Tom Wigley

"Obviously, it's a great privilege and pleasure to be here at the Yale Law School Sesquicentennial Convocation. And I defy anyone to say that and chew gum at the same time." - Gerald R Ford

"I was once asked if I had any ideas for a really scary reality TV show. I have one reality show that would really make your hair stand on end: "C-Students from Yale"." - Kurt Vonnegut

"I was fortunate enough to take classes with Mel Powell at Yale University as well as a semester with Sam Adler at the Eastman School of Music. From Mel I learned to appreciate improvisatory ingenuity and from Sam rhythmic athleticism." - Barbara Harbach

"I had just done something in TV, but my real love is theater. I had won this award and I was up at Yale, and I was happy because it came with money." - Stephen Adly Guirgis

"I've spent my entire adult life teaching at colleges of various kinds, all of them very different from Yale, and I have a fairly cynical perspective on what elite institutions - and the privileges they embody - represent in America." - Jess Row

"Hillary Clinton lived at Wellesley and Yale. Her circle of friends was that Ivy League bunch, and they were all being trained for lives in government. They were all being trained for lives of government: CIA, State Department." - Rush Limbaugh

"I can tell you about Hillary Clinton's heart. This is a woman, who, after law school, went down to my native South. She went down, after graduating from Yale Law School, to help poor kids, to help disabled kids." - Donna Brazile

"What do I tell the kids? What I would tell your kids, I'm a black man in America who went to Yale, who has written books, who served a president and now..." - Mary Matalin

"Ninth generation American, ma'am, and I'm the first one in my family born with all my rights. I'm a ninth generation American. And so we have not escaped because I went to Yale all the problems of this country." - Van Jones

"Larry [Kramer] and I often disagree. There was the whole meshuggaas we went through about his donating his papers to Yale, and I disagreed with him on a number of things about that. You wanted a gay center..." - Kevin Sessums

"I think it's a Jewish Yale custom. I wasn't aware that other people celebrated Christmas. My wife was very big on Christmas, and I was very big on my wife." - Kevin Sessums

"Jenna Bush was cited for underage drinking in Austin Friday. Her dad warned her that too much partying at school could cost her a good career. At $400,000, he's making the lowest salary of any of his Yale classmates." - Argus Hamilton

"And there was that wholesale libel on a Yale prom. If all the girls attending it were laid end to end, Mrs Parker said, she wouldn't be at all surprised." - Dorothy Parker

"Obviously, it's a great privilege and pleasure to be here at the Yale Law School Sesquicentennial Convocation. And I defy anyone to say that and chew gum at the same time." - Gerald Ford

"Treasury Secretary Brady didn't like the Fed either. He and the president were friends and had a lot in common-both were wealthy, Yale educated patricians and members of Skull and Bones." - Alan Greenspan

"I don't have an MBA, and I didn't go to Yale. I'm not an academic person and wasn't a good student. Instead, I've been taught by some of the most inspiring people in the world." - Lapo Elkann

"My roommate at Yale University introduced me to the auteur theory of filmmaking. I soon became a big fan of the works of John Ford, Kenji Mizoguchi, Ernst Lubitsch, and Stan Brakhage. I then decided to make my own films!" - Lloyd Kaufman

"I turned down a scholarship to Yale. The problem with college is that there's a tendency to mistake preparation for productivity. You can prepare all you want, but if you never roll the dice you'll never be successful." - Shia Labeouf

"I first became interested in women and religion when I was one of the few women doing graduate work in Religious Studies at Yale University in the late 1960's." - Carol P Christ

"I started making little films with a 16 mm camera as an undergraduate at Yale. My first job out of college was 'assistant editor' on a forgettable low budget feature." - Leslie Cockburn

"You were saying that once when visiting Yale, you were struck that unlike Pound, Williams's thinking was volatile, I mean, did not stay locked into a pattern of concepts that then defined his subsequent necessary behavior, whereas Pound did." - Robert Creeley

"I have lectured at Town Hall N.Y., The Library of Congress, Harvard, Yale, Amherst, Wellesley, Columbia, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana State University, Colorado, Stanford, and scores of other places." - Paul Engle

"It is, of course, further indication that a fundamentalist right has really taken over much of the Republican Party, People might cite George Bush as proof that you can be totally impervious to the effects of Harvard and Yale education." - Barney Frank

"I took the LSAT. My score was decent. I had a plan that if my score was really well, then I might of just went to Yale or Harvard... But it was just mediocre. I can get into law school." - Vinny Guadagnino

"John Lewis Gaddis is not only the favorite historian of the Reagan administration, but he's regarded as the dean of Cold War scholarship, the leading figure in the American Cold War scholarship, a professor at Yale." - Noam Chomsky

"But to do it professionally is a quantum leap difference and my father had to be persuaded by these kind of Ivy League professors that I should go to the Yale Drama School, another one of the stories in there." - Robert Klein

"I came from Yale, where you get an extracurricular degree in self-importance because you went there. When AIDS happened, I was treated like an outcast. And I don't like that feeling." - Larry Kramer

"I was probably the first kid in my high school to go to Yale. I applied almost as a lark. Then, when I got there, I was the dumbest person in your class." - Maya Lin

"After Yale Law School, I was proud to try to live up to my parents' example and began my career working for The Urban Justice Center in the streets of Newark, organizing residents to fight for better housing conditions." - Cory Booker

"I don't think the alternative to Yale is jail by any means. On the other hand, there is a mass of research that does show that there are real advantages to your subsequent career in going to selective institutions." - Derek Bok

"My parents were married for sixty-five years, and I was married for about ten minutes, my first year at Yale Drama School. Something, somehow, didn't get passed on to my generation." - Lewis Black

"I am a real New Yorker... I didn't go to Harvard, I didn't go to Yale... I rooted for the Yankees; I didn't root for the Boston Red Sox." - John Catsimatidis

"I told the students [at Yale] we were going to talk about love - I meant love in the sense of devotions to one's work - and about half the students got really pissed off." - Kiki Smith

"I was a garbage man in New Jersey in summers during college at Yale. Everybody else got to go to Switzerland and I got to go to the dump." - Tom Perrotta

"When I went to college, I thought I was going to become a professional musician. I was a French horn player, so I went to Yale to study with a very unusual French horn player." - Joshua Princeramus

"How much does it really matter whether your child will soon be enjoying a first year at Harvard or Yale or will instead end up at her third or fourth or fifth choice? Probably much less than you think." - Barry Schwartz

"A Yale University management professor in response to student Fred Smith's paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service: The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a 'C', the idea must be feasible." - Frederick W Smith

"By the time I went to Yale, I'd been acting for a long time and I was really tired of it. I was restless - and a little bored - and I was really eager to investigate different parts of myself." - Claire Danes

"I guess I stopped acting when I was 18 and didn't pick it up again until I was 21. That wasn't the plan, though. When I first started at Yale, the plan was to do a movie each summer." - Claire Danes

"Who is more in touch with the problems of this country? One of those guys who goes off to Oxford or to University of Yale, or someone who has lived in buses, in the Metro, in the street?" - Gloria Trevi

"I would love to see writing taught online because at university like Yale, there are not enough teachers who are able to teach writing well, or in some cases, there are none." - David Gelernter

"I graduated in '94 from Yale and New York Undercover was my first gig on TV. I was really all over the place with roles, which is what I wanted to do." - Lance Reddick

"Back in Kansas City, I associated Harvard with sort of gnarly guys who wore capes for effect in a kind of Oscar Wilde scene. Even though I also knew there was such a thing as the Harvard-Yale game, I was still a little surprised that Harvard had a football team. I just assumed if there were such a thing as gay people, that they were nothing like us. Little did I know that probably half the swim team at Yale was gay." - Kevin Sessums

"I never wanted to be the person who said, "I woulda, coulda, shoulda." Life is way too short, and you may not last that long. I dropped out of Yale after two years to pursue one of the most uncertain careers - modeling. That seemed like a crazy decision, especially coming from where I came from and given what Yale is. Most people I knew told me so. But I was following what my heart was telling me I needed to do. I took the risk. It could easily have not worked out, but it did. Phew!" - Joy Bryant

"...60 advocates of unorthodox therapies whose credentials are given in the ACS book (above).(:) Of these 60, thirty-nine or almost two-thirds, hold...medical degrees from such universities as Harvard, Illinois, Northwestern, Yale, Dublin, Oxford, or Toronto. Two are osteopaths. 3...also hold...(PhD's)....scientific....reputable....8 others received PhD's in such fields as chemistry, physiology, bacteriology, parasitology, or medical physics, from...Yale, Johns Hopkins, UC Berkeley, Columbia, and NYU. Thus over 75%...are medical doctors or doctors of philosophy in scientific areas." - Ralph W. Moss

"Texas Governor Rick Perry distanced himself from George W. Bush by saying, 'I went to Texas A&M. He went to Yale.' In other words, his idea of instilling confidence is by saying, 'Don't worry. I'm not as smart as George W. Bush.'" - Conan O'Brien

"There's this huge controversy over the fact that President Bush apparently received credit for National Guard service in Alabama in '72 and '73 even though his commanding officers are saying he never reported. I think what's even more disturbing is that he received enough credits to graduate from Yale." - Jay Leno

"Children whose curiosity survives parental discipline and who manage to grow up before they blow up are invited to join the Yale faculty. Within the university they go on asking their questions and trying to find the answers ... it is a place where the world's hostility to curiosity can be defied." - Edmund Morgan

"I remembered that throughout my growing up and education and pursuing my dreams and desires, going into acting, and, of course, getting through Yale University and on and on and on, that being average, being mediocre was not an option that you should be proud of." - Angela Bassett

"Voters inclined to loathe and fear elite Ivy League schools rarely make fine distinctions between Yale and Harvard. All they know is that both are full of rich, fancy, stuck-up and possibly dangerous intellectuals who never sit down to supper in their undershirt no matter how hot the weather gets." - Russell Baker

"Millar Burrows of Yale observes: 'Archeology has in many cases refuted the views of modern critics. It has shown in a number of instances that these views rest on false assumptions and unreal, artificial schemes of historical development. This is a real contribution and not to be minimized.'" - Millar Burrows

"Maybe that is the best lesson I learned in my first semester at Yale, because if I had gone to a less-demanding school and continued to sail along on the top, I am sure I would never have attained the subsequent achievements in my life." - Benjamin Carson

"There are so many brilliant, trained actors of color in America. If you just think about it, every year in the spring Julliard and NYU and Yale and hundreds of schools across the country graduate classes of trained actors, and in those classes are actors of color. So to say that there aren't enough actors of color is factually inaccurate." - Andre Holland

"He's wearing his official university sweatshirt again, which puzzles me a little. I mean I'd sort of understand it more if it said Yale or Harvard or something, because then it would be a fashion choice. But why advertise the fact that you're at a university to all the other people who are at the university with you?" - David Nicholls

"Vietnam was an exercise in mistaken idealism Iraq in cynical money-making. And there's no optimism or idealism now - Americans are tired of knowledge. Our leaders, the C-students from Yale, know this. We're proud of being ignorant that leaves virtue at our core. We aren't frazzled by knowledge like foreigners, so we can be trusted." - Kurt Vonnegut

"One of the reasons the doctors gave for hospitalizing me against my will was that I was 'gravely disabled.' To support this view, they wrote in my chart that I was unable to do my Yale Law School homework. I wondered what that meant about much of the rest of New Haven." - Elyn Saks

"Some would argue that the president himself benefited from a form of affirmative action because as a C student, he only got into Yale because his father was a wealthy alumnus. But the White House counters that Saddam is a menace and must be stopped." - Jon Stewart

"On the analogy of 'Dictionary Johnson,' we call Fred R. Shapiro, editor of the just-published Yale Book of Quotations (well worth the $50 price), 'Quotationeer Shapiro.' . . . Shapiro does original research, earning his 1,067-page volume a place on the quotation shelf next to Bartlett's and Oxford's." - William Safire

"The other boys at Yale came from wealthy families, and none of them were investing outside the United States, and I thought, 'That is very egotistical. Why be so shortsighted or near-sighted as to focus only on America? Shouldn't you be more open-minded?'" - John Templeton

"I enjoyed reading and learning at school, and at university I enjoyed extending my reading and learning. Once I left Cambridge, I went to Yale as a fellow. I spent two years there. After that, George Gale made me literary editor of 'The Spectator." - Peter Ackroyd

"Health care is too expensive, so the Clinton administration is putting a high-powered coporate lawyer - Hillary - in charge of making it cheaper. (This is what I always do when I want to spend less money - hire a lawyer from Yale.) If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free." - P. J. O'Rourke

"And I love it when your hair still wet cause you just took a shower. Runnin on a treadmill and only eating salad. Sound so smart like you graduated college, like you went to Yale but you probably went to Howard." - Drake

"Privilege, if you're very strict, is an immoral and unjust thing to have, but if you've got it you didn't choose to get it and you might as well use it. You're privileged to be at Yale, but you know you're under an obligation to repay what's been put into you." - Walker Evans

"I remember a time at Yale when my work was being critiqued by Paul Rand. Mr. Rand told me only to use Helvetica as a display face never in text, then he squinted, leaned in, and whispered in my ear, "because Helvetica looks like dogshit in text"." - Kyle Cooper

"Before I was born [my father] wanted me to go specifically to Yale, which he thought would help. It was easy for him to think I could be president: he didn't have to worry about being president himself, being ineligible because he wasn't born in the United States." - Calvin Trillin

"The career I chose was a drama major in college, at Yale, when I played a 90-year-old woman. One of my most celebrated roles. Then I played a really fat person. I played a lot of different things. That's how I thought I loved to wrangle my talent, my need to express myself. I like to do it that way." - Meryl Streep

"To date, [Wynton] Marsalis has received a total of nine Grammy Awards; a Pulitzer Prize (the first ever awarded to a jazz musician)... and twenty-nine honorary degrees, including Columbia, Brown, Princeton and Yale; the National Medal of Arts; and numerous awards from other countries." - Randy Sandke

"The benefits of a modest warming would outweigh the costs - by $8.4 billion a year in 1990 dollars by the year 2060, according to Robert Mendelsohn at Yale University - thanks to longer growing seasons, more wood fiber production, lower construction costs, lower mortality rates, and lower rates of morbidity (illness)." - Joseph L. Bast

"One of the reasons the doctors gave for hospitalizing me against my will was that I was "gravely disabled." To support this view, they wrote in my chart that I was unable to do my Yale Law School homework. I wondered what that meant about much of the rest of New Haven." - Elyn Saks



Yale, Yale University,