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College Consultant Loren Pope; Commissioned a Wright House

Loren Pope shown in 1997 at the Pope-Leighey House, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home where he once lived.
Loren Pope shown in 1997 at the Pope-Leighey House, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home where he once lived. (By John Mcdonnell -- The Washington Post)
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"The day we left, I sat on the fireplace hob and wept," he told the New York Times.

He sold the home to another couple, Robert and Marjorie Leighey, for $17,500. Threatened with demolition in the 1960s during the planning of Interstate 66, the house was donated to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, dismantled and reassembled on the grounds of Woodlawn Plantation near Mount Vernon, where it stands today.

After a stint in the late 1940s as a farmer and freelance writer in Loudoun County -- where his hoped-for second Wright house never materialized -- Mr. Pope returned to the news business.

He was an education editor at the Times and an administrator at what is now Oakland University in Michigan before starting his College Placement Bureau counseling business in 1965.

Running the bureau well into his 90s, he urged students to attend small liberal arts colleges and tried to steer them away from what he considered impersonal, elitist schools: Hampshire College rather than Harvard University, Cornell College in Iowa rather than Cornell University in Ithaca.

He was the author of education guide books, including "Looking Beyond the Ivy League" (1990) and "Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools You Should Know About Even if You're Not a Straight-A Student" (1996).

Mary Lee Hoganson, a past president of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, said Mr. Pope "was the first one to begin to focus on factors that affected the quality of students' experience, instead of just looking at selectivity of admission."

Hoganson said she gives parents copies of Mr. Pope's books "to help them think more broadly about what it means to have a quality college education -- to have a transforming experience. He helped all of our profession to understand the value of a broad-based liberal arts education."

In later editions of his books, Mr. Pope said he dropped colleges when he thought they had become too popular. He told the Times he was concerned about the emphasis on brand-name schools, saying of parents and students, "I think all they are thinking about is status."

Loren Brooks Pope was born July 13, 1910, in Minneapolis and raised in Northern Virginia. He was a 1928 graduate of McKinley Technical High School in Washington and a 1933 graduate of DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind.

His marriages to Charlotte Swart Pope and Ida Wallace Pope ended in divorce. His third wife, Viola Barrett Greenland Pope, died in August after 24 years of marriage.

Survivors include two children from his first marriage, Loren B. Pope Jr. of Eugene, Ore., and Penelope Hadley of Albuquerque; a sister; two granddaughters; and a great-grandson.

Mr. Pope spent much of his later life in a one-story home in Alexandria. It's not a Wright home, he told The Washington Post, but it's "very Japanesey. It's sort of second-generation Wright. You could say I've been aesthetically monogamous all my life."

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