National Dean’s List

I have received a letter informing me of my selection to the National Dean’s List, “the largest, most prestigious publication in the country recognizing gifted students selected by their deans, comparable faculty members or other educational organizations.” This is, to say the least, an unexpected honor, seeing as how I graduated college twenty years ago.

Also puzzling is the odd syntax employed in the letter. Why isn’t it the National Deans’ List, since multiple deans are presumably involved? And what does “deans, comparable faculty members or other educational organizations” mean, anyway? What faculty members would be comparable to deans? And why would either constitute an organization?

FILED UNDER: Education, General,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Does this honor involving the transfer of any money from you to them? I mean, you know …

  2. Michael says:

    No no, you misunderstand. It is the “National Dean’s List”, meaning a list compiled by some guy named “Dean”. Kind of like “Angie’s List”, or “Graig’s List”.

    Presumably he will also send you a nice trophy or certificate so you can proudly display your honor, for a small processing fee of course.

    Oh yeah, and Congratulations!

  3. Michael says:

    Correction: Should have typed “Craig’s List”, not “Graig’s List”. Graig sucks at making lists.

  4. Maybe it’s Howard Dean’s list?

    Or, more likely, Jimmy Dean’s.

  5. James Joyner says:

    Or, more likely, Jimmy Dean’s.

    I’d likely join that. I mean, who doesn’t like country music singers who make tasty breakfast sausage? I prefer the “Hot” but the Mrs. prefers “Maple.”

  6. Yeah, but she also likes those nasty flavored coffees, so what does she know?

  7. Barry says:

    I’ve heard of something like that where somebody compiles a list that’s titled almost, but not quite ‘Who’s Who’. They talk about the honor of being on it, and then shift that to the money that they’d like you to pay.

  8. yetanotherjohn says:

    Send me $100 and I’ll get you one the honor roll.

  9. Michael says:

    Send me $100 and I’ll get you one the honor roll.

    Sorry, I just gave my last $100 to the son of a murdered Nigerian oil minister. But as soon as they send me the $1 million, I’ll get it to you. It should be any day now.