Go ask any 10 people in the country what they think of DePauw University. Likely, half will say they’ve never heard of it.
For the people who have, there are a number of common answers. One might answer, “DePauw’s a great little school.” Another might say, “Isn’t it a bunch of rich kids?” Of course, there will be one ignorant jabroni who asks, “Do you mean DePaul?” More than likely, the number one answer you’ll receive is, “I heard DePauw is an awesome party school.” And that is correct.
DePauw University has been a consistent mainstay on the Princeton Review’s top party school rankings for years, and for good reasons. Despite the small number of students, DePauw has one of the strongest Greek systems in
the country, with nearly 80 percent of the student population involved in Greek life. This makes for an interesting social dynamic on campus.
While the administration has its qualms about the party culture at DePauw, their main goal is the safety of students. They interfere, when necessary, and do a great job of keeping campus safe. They also understand how the social experience contributes to what is so unique about DePauw. That's why our brand statement is, "At DePauw University, intellectual challenge and a vibrant social experience combine to produce lifelong success."
There is an ever present animosity towards the collegiate party culture, both at DePauw and on a national level. I in no way condone some of the dangerous binge drinking that takes place at DePauw and at universities around the country. However, I firmly believe that the social situations one encounters during college, particularly at a small school like DePauw, are a great breeding ground for lasting relationships, both personal and professional.
Having such a social campus promotes the kind of lifelong success that cannot be taught in a classroom. A large part of being successful after college is your ability to communicate, be personable, carry on a conversation and relate to others. A characteristic of extremely prestigious and academically rigorous schools is the lack of a healthy social experience. Being a happy, successful person does not solely rely on the hours you log in the library, but also the experiences you have through social interactions. And that separates DePauw from being just another party school. We understand the kind of opportunities that come from the balance of being academically excellent and vibrantly social.
It always astounds me how the success of so many DePauw alumni is a direct result of the connections they made while at DePauw. Even halfway through my college career, I have begun to appreciate my place in the DePauw network. In fact, I wouldn’t be writing this if it wasn’t for a fraternity brother who introduced me to The Odyssey.
Yes, De Pauw is great school, academically. Yes, we have a stunning campus. Yes, we have an outstanding alumni network. However, all of this can be said about countless universities around the country. It is our distinctive social atmosphere that is the defining variable of the consistent success of DePauw students and alumni. A party in the basement of the Delt house is more than just night of EDM and Hamm’s Special Light. It is a melting pot of intellectuals, making connections and memories that will last a lifetime.