The Chronicle of Higher Education published its own account of 1968 Wharton graduate Donald Trump’s time at Fordham University and Penn with an titled “Trump: The College Years,” on Sunday, July 3.
Trump spent two years at Fordham before transferring to Wharton and graduating in 1968 with a B.A. in economics.
“By Donald J. Trump’s own account, he saw higher education as a means to an end,” begins the article. “To become the real-estate mogul he envisioned, he needed these institutions — but in the same dispassionate way that a mechanic, say, needs a socket wrench.”
The Daily Pennsylvanian has the presumptive Republican nominee’s time at Penn before, but reported that ultimately, not much is known.
Chronicle notes the same, writing, “[Trump] left little discernible mark on Fordham or Penn, suggesting that he had a limited role within the communal life of the institutions he attended.”
The article draws a contrast between Trump’s college years and Hillary Clinton’s, which were full of well documented involvement.
Even with minimal evidence of what exactly Trump did while he was at Fordham and Penn, the article goes on for over 2,500 words, much of it working to draw parallels between the historical and political significance of the 1960s, especially on college campuses, to who Trump is today. The article links the volatile race and gender relations of the time with Trump’s current rhetoric. It notes that in 1964, when Trump came to Fordham, the school was just beginning to integrate women. A modernizing theology curriculum at Fordham also guaranteed that Trump, who wants to ban Muslims from entering the United States, “would have studied Islam,” according to a 1968 Fordham graduate quoted in the article, who does not remember Trump.
Trump’s admission to Wharton is also speculated upon. The article quotes a book, “The Trumps: Three Generations of Builders and a Presidential Candidate,” which says that Trump interviewed with a “friendly admissions officer” who was a high school classmate of Trump’s older brother Freddy. The DP also reported on this anecdote in its article about his college years, in addition to the fact that not much is known about Trump’s grades while at Penn. Reports conflict greatly, with some who remember him at the top of his class and others as an unremarkable student.
Also conflicting are accounts of Trump’s personality from his classmates. The Chronicle article interviewed 1968 Wharton graduate Louis J. Calomaris, who remembered Trump saying on the first day of class “I’m going to be the next Bill Zeckendorf,” referencing a prominent New York City developer, “but I’m going to be better.”
But 1968 Wharton graduate Ted Sachs told the DP, “I liked him. I thought he was a really nice low-key guy.”
The DP is also mentioned in the Chronicle article when John L. Puckett, co-author of “Becoming Penn: The Pragmatic American University, 1950-2000,” told Chronicle he could not find any mention of Trump in Penn’s archives, nor in any archived copy of the DP.
The article closes with another anecdote from Calomaris, who said Trump was especially interested in a lecture at Wharton that argued that good business is about understanding the desires and psychologies of those on the other side of the negotiating table.
“[H]e didn’t care a whit about the technicalities of the real-estate business, just as today he doesn’t care about the technicalities of virtually anything," Calomaris said in the article. "He’s a big-picture person.”Comments powered by Disqus
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