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Loren Brooks Pope (July 13, 1910 – September 23, 2008) was an American writer and independent college placement counselor.
In 1965, Pope, a former newspaperman and education editor of The New York Times, founded the College Placement Bureau, one of the first independent college placement counseling services in the United States. He was an alumnus of DePauw University.
His first book, The Right College: How to Get In, Stay In, Get Back In (Macmillan, 1970), was followed by a nationally syndicated article series, "Twenty Myths That Can Jinx Your College Choice," published in The Washington Post Magazine and Reader's Digest. A second book, Looking Beyond the Ivy League: Finding the College That’s Right for You (Penguin, 1995), was written and published several years later.
His final and best-selling work, Colleges That Change Lives (Penguin, 1996), profiled his top 40 choices—schools that he claimed would "do as much as, and perhaps even more than, any name-brand schools to fully educate students and to give them rich, full lives." He focused mainly on private liberal arts colleges, usually with about 1500 students.
Pope was also known for commissioning the Pope-Leighey House in 1939, designed and constructed originally in Falls Church, Virginia, by Frank Lloyd Wright. Pope, who was working as a $50-a-week copy editor at the Washington Evening Star (his employer financed the construction), convinced Wright to build the small house (less than 1,200 square feet) by writing him a famously flattering letter. Pope opened, "There are certain things a man wants during life, and, of life. Material things and things of the spirit. The writer has one fervent wish that includes both. It is for a house created by you." He closed with the plea, "Will you create a house for us? Will you?" The architect's reply was brief: "Dear Loren Pope: Of course I am ready to give you a house."
Even after Pope's death, the Colleges That Change Lives foundation continues to thrive in bringing together the nation's top liberal arts colleges. Every year, the CTCL foundation travels to numerous states to give speeches about the college admissions process, as well as implementing college fairs, using only the schools in the foundation.
Pope married and divorced Charlotte Swart Pope and Ida Wallace Pope. Pope was married 24 years to Viola Barrett Greenland Pope, who lived to the age of 96. Both Loren and Viola are buried at Aquia Church Graveyard in Stafford, Virginia.
- Pope and Wright correspondence, 1939, reprinted in The Pope-Leigh[e]y House (Washington DC: National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1969), pp. 12-15.
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