Luke Kelly: DeMatha to MIT


Thomas Krukar, Editor in Chief

As the class of 2022’s time at DeMatha comes to a close, seniors are looking ahead to the next chapter of their academic careers. Many students within the class of 2022 are attending highly acclaimed and prestigious universities next fall, such as Yale and Georgetown.

But in the list of schools that will be attended by the class of 2022, there is one that stands out for its uniqueness and pedigree. That school is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and it will be attended next year by senior Luke Kelly.

Although a very accomplished and honorable student, Luke himself was surprised to have gotten into such a repuatable, world-renowned institution. “I was definitely surprised to have been accepted into MIT,” Luke says. At the start of the college process, Luke was not focused on getting into MIT, but rather another well-known school. “Princton was the school that I really wanted to get into, and to be honest I really only applied to MIT as an afterthought,” Luke admits.

Thinking that his chances of getting into Princton were slim, Luke’s mom helped convince him to apply to MIT. After getting deferred from Princeton, Luke thought that he was most likely going to attend the University of Maryland-College Park. Luke says, “I was already starting to tell people that I was most likely going to go to Maryland, because I just didn’t think there was much of a chance of me getting accepted to MIT.”

But much to his surprise, Luke opened his acceptance letter from MIT and found out that he would soon become part of an exclusive institution. Of course he himself was excited, but Luke says that his mother was definitely the most excited member of his family. The hard work and four years of excellence had paid off, and Luke and his family felt a special sense of accomplishment and gratitude towards those who helped them along the way.

“Obviously, none of this would have been possible without the help of Mr. Bright and my teachers at DeMatha,” Luke says.

Senior counselor Mr. Andrew Bright said that “as far as the data goes back, DeMatha has not sent a student to MIT before.” This means that Luke is the first DeMatha student to attend MIT since at least 2009, and it is very possible that he could be the first MIT-bound DeMatha student since well before then. It is even possible that Luke could be the first ever student from DeMatha to attend the Massachusetts school, although Mr. Bright admitted that would be very hard to verify.

Mr. Bright acknowledged that many DeMatha students have attended Ivy League schools in the past, some on athletic scholarships and some purely for academics. But DeMatha’s history with MIT had been non-existent before Luke, as far as Mr. Bright knows. “I would say that it was surprising to see Luke get accepted into MIT, solely because I had never seen it happen before in my time at DeMatha,” Mr. Bright says.

Although there aren’t a lot of kids applying to MIT from DeMatha to begin with, Mr. Bright says that in his time as college counselor he has seen several extremely qualified applicants get rejected by the school. “We knew that Luke had the potential to go to a very good school, but I’m not sure we necessarily expected it to be MIT.”

Luke plans on majoring in biological engineering with a minor in biomedical engineering at MIT. He knows that the school presents a grand academic challenge that he has not yet seen before, but he’s ready to give the neccesary time and effort to succeed in college.

DeMatha and its faculty are proud of Luke’s academic achievements and his acceptance into MIT, but what they are most proud of is his character and development through four years at the school. “I feel proud of my academic achievements, but I also don’t think that my academics define me wholly as a person,” Luke says.

Luke’s story can be a valuable lesson to those about to enter the process of choosing a college. Although he thought it was unlikely that he would get into MIT, Luke still applied to the school and, to his surprise, was accepted. Even when chances seem slim, it is always worth a try. That goes for the college process, but also life in general. If you have the courage to try when the odds are stacked against you, you never know what life might have in store for you.