Staff Editorial: Cougar alums make the grade, Ivy League scammer doesn’t

Fibbing to get in: F

A Yale University student is headed to court after officials discovered that his academic credentials were faked when he sought a transfer from Columbia University, the New York Times reported Thursday.

When he submitted his transfer with phony transcripts stating he had all A’s, Yale not only admitted him, but awarded him a $32,000 scholarship.

Yale admissions officials were alerted to the lies when the student, Akash Maharaj, was involved in an incident with another student. The altercation, reported by the university’s police, launched an investigation by officials, who found out that not only had be falsified his credentials, but had also lied about his age and his dependence on federal grants to pay for school.

While incoming students may find the process of university or college admissions difficult or frustrating, it does not excuse faking one’s academic career in order to get ahead. The point of seeking an education is to better oneself through knowledge and truth, not by cheapening one’s accomplishments with lies.

Sara Suleri Goodyear, a Yale professor, said Maharaj had been one of the best students she’d taught during her career.

It doesn’t pay to cheat, or to lie for that matter.

UH alumni win accolades: A +

A Cougar was among the winners of the Pulitzer prize when they were announced Monday.

Reuters photographer Adrees Latif won the Pulitzer for photographing the last moments of another journalist’s life in Myanmar during the social unrest riots in September. Latif, who graduated in 1999, was a Daily Cougar photo editor in 1991 and later in 1996.

Also on Monday, Hakeem Olajuwon, another Cougar, was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Olajuwon, who won back-to-back championships in 1994 and 1995 with the Houston Rockets, was part of the legendary Phi Slamma Jamma Cougar basketball team in the 1980s.

Latif and Olajuwon’s achievements bring hope to the students of the University at a time when it’s easy for us to underestimate ourselves. While UH President Renu Khator and other officials are busy with pushing the University to achieve flagship status, it’s good to know that the University can produce talented people without such a title.

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