Princeton alum tells girls to find husband on campus

Posted: 04/01/13 at 9:10 am EDT      Last Updated: 04/01/13 at 9:59 am EDT

UNDATED (WHDH) -- It's something that happened in the Ivy League that has a lot of people talking: a controversial suggestion that women at elite universities take advantage of the opportunity to find high-quality husbands at the schools.

Princeton alumna Susan Patton said she was just giving women at the Ivy League university the advice she would have wanted.

"Here's what nobody is telling you: Find a husband on campus before you graduate. Yes, I went there,” said Patton.

The mother of two sons, both Princetonians, published her opinions in the school's online paper after attending a women's leadership conference on campus, telling female students that Princeton, and other top tier universities offer them the best chance of finding a husband.

"For most of you, the cornerstone of your future and happiness will be inextricably linked to the man you marry, and you will never again have this concentration of men who are worthy of you,” said Patton.

Her motherly tips on when and where to search for Mr. Right, went viral and sparked mixed reactions.

“There's merit to the fact that you are surrounded by high caliber people. If you are someone who wants to be with a high caliber person like that, than it probably is a good environment,” said one man.

One mother said, “I think you have lots of opportunities in life to meet, depending on what path you go in terms of working to meet whomever your ideal partner in life.”

Patton's advice is the latest in a debate on the challenges women face finding balance in their career and at home.

From Sheryl Sandberg's book, "Lean In” - to Anne Marie Slaughter’s article last summer, "Why women still can't have it all" are featured at the Princeton conference.

Writer Lisa Belkin, also a Princeton alum and mom who attended the same conference, said Patton is sending the wrong message.

“There's elitism oozing out of every pore of this letter. This isn't an odds game. This isn't a quest. This is something that should happen as part of a fulfilled, dynamic interesting life,” said Belkin.

Despite firestorm of criticism, Patton stands by her words.

“Look, it's advice. Take it or leave it,” said Patton.

She said she is hoping to keep the conversation going.

She also said that she didn’t take her own advice. She is also divorced.

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