President Donald Trump has said many times during his campaign that he is “a very smart guy” who graduated at the top of his class from Pennsylvania University’s Wharton School of Business.
Trump bragged to the New York Times in 1984 that he graduated “first in his class,” but according to a report from The Daily Pennslyvanian on Thursday, his official academic records and his classmate’s recollection’ tell a different story.
“Penn records and Trump’s classmates dispute this claim,” wrote the Pennsylvanian’s Alex Rabin and Rebecca Tan. “In 1968, The Daily Pennsylvanian published a list of the 56 students who were on the Wharton Dean’s List that year — Trump’s name is not among them.”
“I recognize virtually all the names on that list,” said 1968 Wharton graduate Stephen Foxman, “and Trump just wasn’t one of them.”
Another Wharton graduate, Jon Hillsberg insists that if Trump won any type of academic awards, his name would definitely be on the 1968 commencement ceremony program, and there is no sign of the president’s name.
The program list does show, “20 Wharton award and prize recipients, 15 cum laude recipients, four magna cum laude recipients and two summa cum laude recipients for the Class of 1968. Trump’s name appears nowhere on those lists.”
“Given that there are 366 listed 1968 Wharton graduates on QuakerNet, Penn’s alumni database, the Dean’s List of 56 students represents approximately the top 15 percent of the class. The omission of Trump’s name suggests that his academic record at Penn was not as outstanding as he has claimed,” concluded Rabin and Tan.
Students that attended school with Trump remember him differently. Some claim he was focused and attentive, while others say he preferred being in New York compared to being on campus.
“He was really off by himself. He didn’t party or go to football games … [h]e didn’t mingle with the guys going back to hang out and chatting, and stuff like that,” said fellow 1968 graduate Edward Pollard.
“He was not an intellectual man, but that wasn’t what his goal was,” classmate Louis Calomaris told the DP. “He’s not an intellectual now, [and] that’s pretty obvious … [w]hat I saw early on was an unbounded ambition that did come to fruition, because it matched his firm’s needs, and that’s how these things work.”