I am writing in response to Anne Neal's misinformed article criticizing St. Mary's College of Maryland ("Campus cautionary tale," May 30).

Rather than basing her judgment of St. Mary's College on biased reports that no one else seems to have heard of and a few random flips through the course catalog, Ms. Neal should have read a few back issues of "The Mulberry Tree," the college alumni magazine.

In it she would have found articles by professors, students and alums that showcase the opportunities a small honors college has to offer. She would also find highlights of the accomplishments and new paths that St. Mary's alums are paving in their careers.

The strength of St. Mary's is not the "honors college" label or the ratings or opinions of uninformed commentators. The strength is the relationships fostered between faculty and students, formed in places like the campus center patio, the Kent Hall seminar room and in the stands at games.

I would not have received the same high-quality education at any other college. In my four years I took classes ranging from biology, chemistry, literature and Spanish to philosophy, religion, sociology, political science and history.

In each of those courses I was challenged, frustrated, celebrated and encouraged to be better than my best. It may not be a shock to know what I do for a living: I'm a teacher — thanks to the St. Mary's way.

Brianne Carter, Hanover, Pa.

The writer is a member of the St. Mary's College of Maryland Class of 2005.