"After the game, I'm off for some rowing, old chum."

Pastoral U.

Did a double take this morning while flipping through the TV news shows. On Today, Lester Booming-Voice Holt sat with Barbara Kantrowitz of Newsweek and Seppi Bacili of Kaplan International teasing this year's list of the 25 New Ivies. These are the 25 universities each year that are said to be as good as — or better than — an education from the old-guard Ivy League.

The "elite" group o' schools was selected based on admissions statistics as well as interviews with administrators, students, faculty and alumni. Information is provided on each institution, focusing on the school's unique appeal and profile.

Holt did his best to hype the list. "This is an exclusive," he said, meaning no one else was the first to mention that Washington University in St. Louis is a New Ivy. Other schools were listed onscreen, including our very own Rice University.

Here's what the Newsweek/Kaplan report has to say:

Although Rice is located just three miles from downtown Houston, the 300-acre campus is pastoral. The private university's nine residential colleges were inspired by Oxford and give students an opportunity to belong to a more intimate group. Each college has a "faculty master" selected by students, other masters and the president. The emphasis on student-faculty interaction is echoed in the classroom, where the median class size is 15. Many students like the fact that Rice has Division I sports, including a top baseball team. About 40 percent of students double-major, often pairing economics with engineering or political science.

As opposed to UH students, who double-major in changes of major and commuting. Hit me! I'll be here all week!

Anyhoo, congrats Rice U. We can't wait to see how this latest report seeps into conversation at The Ginger Man. — Steven Devadanam

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