The United States presidential election is coming up in less than 5 months, and like many election years, education policy is a hot topic. While the educational platforms for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney differ, there are some similarities in their personal schooling history. How much do you know about President Obama and Mitt Romney’s education?
Willard Mitt Romney was born in Detroit, Michigan on March 12, 1947. He was raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and attended a public elementary school through 6th grade. Beginning in 7th grade, he attended the Cranbrook School, a private boy’s preparatory school. He commuted from home until 1962 when his father was elected Governor of Michigan, at which time he took up residence at Cranbrook’s Stevens Hall.
During his time at Cranbrook, he was involved in several extra-curricular activities. He was a member of the Pep Squad; the manager for the ice hockey team, and during his senior year joined the cross-country running team. Romney graduated Cranbrook in 1965.
Romney attended Stanford University for one school year (1965-1966), and then took a hiatus from school to serve as a Mormon missionary for 30 months in France. When he returned from his missionary service, he began his studies at Brigham Young University. He married his high school sweetheart Ann Davies March 21, 1969 and completed his Bachelor of Arts in English in 1971.
Romney wanted to pursue a masters’ in business, but his father advised him that a law degree would be valuable for his career. He became one of fifteen students to embark on a newly created Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration four-year program at Harvard University. He graduated cum laude from the school of law, and in the top 5% of his business school class.
Barack Hussein Obama II was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961. He moved to Indonesia with his father and stepmother in 1966 and attended local schools in Jakarta, including Besuki Public School and St. Francis of Assisi School. In 1971, Obama returned to Hawaii to live with his grandparents in Honolulu. He attended Punahou School, a private college preparatory academy, from fifth grade through high school graduation in 1979.
Following high school, Obama attended Occidental College in Los Angeles. During his time at this liberal arts college, he developed his interest in politics and public service. In 1981, he transferred to Columbia University in New York City to major in political science. He graduated in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in international relations.
Before earning his law degree, Obama was a community organizer in Chicago. He served as the director of the Developing Communities Project for three years, helping set up job training programs, a tutoring program, and a community organizing institute.
Obama entered Harvard Law School in 1988, and was selected as editor of the Harvard Law Review at the end of his first year. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 1991, and moved back to Chicago shortly after. Obama became engaged to Michelle Robinson in 1991, and they married October 3, 1992. He worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago, and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992-2004.
There are some similarities in our candidates backgrounds; Both received their high school diplomas from private preparatory schools; Both started college degrees in California, then transferred to other universities; Both attended Harvard Law School. After Obama and Romney each completed their education, their professional lives took different paths. Obama taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School until 1996, when he was elected to the Illinois State Senate. Romney spent his time in the business world, acting in roles from management consultant to CEO. After serving as president and CEO of the Salt Lake City Olympic Games Organizing Committee, he was elected as Governor of Massachusetts.
Which candidate do you think has the best education to serve as our country’s president?