Richard Simpson, a diminutive 5-foot-6-inch English scholar, called a press conference here today to announce he has accepted a scholarship to study at Yale University.
The announcement, made before a large contingent of reporters and photographers, ended months of speculation as to Simpson's plans. The 18-year-old bespectacled youngster had been sought by English professors and department heads of more than 300 colleges and universities. Simpson announced four weeks ago that he had narrowed his choice to Yale, Virginia, North Carolina and Stanford.
"I believe," he told the press conference, "that Yale is the place for me. I seriously considered the others. It was not an easy choice, but Yale seems to offer the best opportunity for me."
Simpson, already considered a shakespearean scholar by many professors, said the balance in the Yale department (particularly in the 19th century English novel), the other scholars recently recruited and the quality of the faculty were the primary reasons for his selection of Yale.
"There is no question," a Yale professor said, "That his coming to Yale establishes our department as one of the strongest in the nation. I think we'll go up in the ratings immediately. We'll certainly be the department to beat."
Another source at the university denied rumors that Simpson's high school English teacher was part of a package deal and said that Yale had no intention of hiring the teacher.