Trump Failed To Excel At Wharton

For years, profiles of Donald Trump have prominently noted that he “graduated first in his class” at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in 1968. But a new review of the dean’s list in the year he graduated from Wharton’s undergraduate program shows that he wasn’t even in the top 15% of his class.

According to The Daily Pennsylvanian, the student newspaper, a published list of 56 students who were on the Wharton’s Dean List, representing the top 15% of the class, failed to include Trump. A 1968 Commencement Program also showed that Trump failed to graduate with any honors, despite his previous claim that he was first in his graduating class.

The program, acquired by the newspaper from the Penn Archives, lists 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,” reported the newspaper which reprinted the program from the May graduation (see below).

Wharton’s 1968 commencement program

CLASSMATES CLAIM TRUMP DID NOT ‘SEEM TO CARE ABOUT BEING PREPARED’ FOR CLASS

Trump arrived at Wharton in 1966 as a junior transfer from Fordham University, driving a Ford convertible. The New York Times in 1984 reported that numerous profiles of Trump noted that he “graduated first in his class,” and Trump has consistently claimed that he is a “smart person” who has a degree from a highly prestigious business school.

But many of Trump’s peers in the Wharton Class of 1968 agree that he did not stand out academically, the report added. The newspaper quoted 1968 Wharton graduate Louis Calomaris who recalled that “Don … was loath to really study much.”

Calomaris said Trump would come to study groups unprepared and did not “seem to care about being prepared.” He added that Trump’s academic passivity likely stemmed from his passion for engaging directly in the real estate business.

“He spent all his weekends in New York because residential real estate is a weekend business,” Calomaris told the Pennsylvanian which noted that five of Trump’s other classmates confirmed the alum’s claims. “He was not an intellectual man, but that wasn’t what his goal was,” Calomaris added. “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.”

DON’T MISS: THE TRUMP SHOCK IN THE MBA BUBBLE or IN AGE OF TRUMP, B-SCHOOLS BRACE FOR UPHEAVAL

  • Cody Smith

    John B. Bryne, WHO CARES? Donald J. Trump graduated from the top undergraduate business school in the world, the Wharton School. More importantly he created business and commerce for over 4 decades creating jobs not only with the businesses he owned but also the businesses that did business with him. Let it be the contractors that built the buildings Trump owns or the vendors that supply the food for the many Trump golf courses or even the small business owner who maintains the grass in the various Trump hotels, golf courses, etc. Like all “FAKE NEWS” you miss the big picture. Trump is a graduate of the Wharton School. That’s a fact. He’s built a business empire employing people throughout the world that none of those “un-named Wharton classmates” or “Louis Calomaris” that you so proudly quote in your obvious “I envy Trump” article. That’s a fact. More importantly, like it or not, Donald J. Trump is the 45th President of the United States. That’s a fact. In the end, Trump did and is “excelling!”

  • C. Taylor

    First, the DP got it wrong as Mr. Byrne confirms in his comment below. “So the Daily Pennsylvanian apparently got this wrong.”

    Second, Calomaris’s comments seem to be politically motivated. He contradicts himself and apparently provides more negative feedback as time passes. His comments also conflict with those of others and the DP article twists the presentation of some content.

    Calomaris contradicts himself;
    2017/02* Calomaris: “He was not an intellectual man”
    2015/08** Calomaris: “Don was a bright guy

    Calomaris’s comments conflict with those of others;
    Calomaris*: “Don … was loath to really study much”
    Roger Fulton Jr.*: “[Don was] very focused on his studies
    Ted Pollard**: “[Don was] more focused than were.”

    * From the above referenced DP article.
    ** From the BG: bostonglobe (dot) com/news/nation/2015/08/28/donald-trump-was-bombastic-even-wharton-business-school/3FO0j1uS5X6S8156yH3YhL/story.html

  • Brian Linville

    Well, for better or for worse (I’m undecided at this point — but suspect I’ll be thoroughly entertained throughout the decision process), it’s clear now that he’s #1 in the class for achievement.

    So there’s that.

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  • Karen Russell

    Not your darling and what article did you read?

    “But many of Trump’s peers in the Wharton Class of 1968 agree that he did not stand out academically, the report added. The newspaper quoted 1968 Wharton graduate Louis Calomaris who recalled that “Don … was loath to really study much.”
    Calomaris said Trump would come to study groups unprepared and did not “seem to care about being prepared.”
    I don’t see committed or serious anywhere.

  • Charles Martel

    Read the article, darlin’. It’s obvious from the quotes that Trump was a committed and serious student. And as I explained, it’s very possible that Penn in the ’60s — and possibly now — didn’t consider transfers eligible for Latin honors, etc. This is a fairly common practice.

  • C. Taylor

    From a 2015 article from the DP:

    “Of the 13 classmates who spoke with the Daily Pennsylvanian, only one remembers seeing Trump at all on campus . . . ‘I liked him. I thought he was a really nice low-key guy,’ Sachs said. ‘He was very self effacing — he never talked about himself.’

    Sachs, retired from a finance and consulting career and now residing in Lake Forest, Ill., sat next to Trump in a finance class. Sachs would get lunch occasionally with Trump, but after their class together ended, he heard less from him. It was only until nearly 10 years after he graduated that Sachs realized that Trump was the son of wealthy real-estate developer Fred Trump.

    . . . ‘He sort of had a magnetism about himself. He knew where he was going — that was clear,” Sachs said of Trump. “Looking back, I had that sense: he knew something at that age that I didn’t.'”

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    From the BG:

    “During his high school years at New York Military Academy, a boarding
    school for boys 60 miles north of Manhattan, he stood out as an
    athlete, pitching for the baseball team and playing tight end on the
    football team. He also played soccer on a team dominated by students
    from Latin America, and was voted class ‘Ladies Man’ by his all-male
    peers.

    Among his duties was storing and maintaining the M1 rifles for the cadets on his dorm floor. He was so meticulous about cleanliness that one former roommate remembers him folding his underwear into squares and stacking them neatly on the shelf.

    Some of his childhood friends said Trump’s blunt speaking style may be rooted in his years at the military academy, where he was sent at age 13 after some disciplinary issues . . .

    ‘Honesty and straightforwardness was the rule of law’ at the academy, said Ted Levine, one of Trump’s high school roommates who now runs a packaging and supply company in New Jersey. ‘It got ingrained in us that you don’t lie, cheat or steal, or tolerate those who do . . . You just say the way it is.’

    . . . ‘I could tell he was different,” said Ted Pollard, who transferred to Wharton the same year as Trump and later founded a health information company. “We were all preppies in our tweed coats and polka dot ties. He was dressed up in a nice sports coat and jacket. He was just more businesslike.’

    ‘He was cut from a different cloth, and it was quite obvious,’ he
    added. ‘He was more aloof. More focused than we were . . . We were
    wondering what we wanted to do when we grow up. He was already there.’

    . . . ‘Don was a bright guy, but I’d say a disinterested student,’ said Calomaris, who now works as a restaurateur, business consultant, and professor. ‘What he was really interested in was how to make deals, and leverage financing. He was always looking for the quick deal, the fast kill.’

    . . . Trump was named entrepreneur of the year by Wharton in 1984, he was on the school’s oversight board in 1987, and his photo used to hang on a Hall of Fame wall honoring highly successful alumni (it was stolen in 1991, according to the school newspaper . . .”

    thedp (dot) com/article/2015/08/donald-trump-wharton-classmates

    bostonglobe (dot) com/news/nation/2015/08/28/donald-trump-was-bombastic-even-wharton-business-school/3FO0j1uS5X6S8156yH3YhL/story.html

  • Karen Russell

    How is his claim not refuted? He’s not on the Dean’s List; he’s not listed as having received any awards. How does one graduate at the top of his class and not have it noted in the program at the very least. I’m sorry, but you’re simply grasping at straws and making excuses for the sorriest excuse of a president this country’s ever elected

  • Charles Martel

    “…legitimate media just doesn’t make stuff up.” ‘Nuff said, dudesky.

  • Charles Martel

    I don’t know whether it’s important, but you’ve failed to refute his claim. It does occur to me, however, that he might have received a departmental award from the real estate dept.

  • C. Taylor

    “[Trump] says he never told them that”

    Thanks, John.

    The concept of media doing research and linking commentary to the facts is a great standard to maintain.

    What I observe in real life, however, is that journalists pressed for time will incorporate “common knowledge” without performing the requisite corroboration (which requires time and resources).

    Giving the journalists of yore the benefit of the doubt, as well as President Trump:

    I can see Trump claiming to be best in his class in a freewheeling discussion with a journalist on the practical application of concepts to making money. That journalist facing a tight deadline might hurriedly misread his notes and publish a piece saying Trump was first in his class (as opposed to the best). And that journalist, as so many often are, might have been too embarrassed to correct the ongoing error.

  • C. Taylor, you are right. Here is what the NYT wrote in 1984:

    “And just about every profile ever written about Mr. Trump states that he graduated first in his class at Wharton in 1968. Although the school refused comment, the commencement program from 1968 does not list him as graduating with honors of any kind. He says he never told them that either.”

    So the Daily Pennsylvanian apparently got this wrong. But other reporters who noted this had to get it from someone and there was no one who would have offered this other than Trump or his handlers. Despite what Trump says, legitimate media just doesn’t make stuff up.

  • C. Taylor

    John, I quoted the NYT above explicitly stating it published articles claiming Trump was first in class. Starting in 1973.

    You here claim Trump said that to the NYT. But the NYT itself does not claim it has a quote of Trump making that claim.

    Can you provide even one source claiming Trump told her that? I bet you can’t but I’m willing to hear you out.

  • It wouldn’t be important at all if Trump hadn’t claimed he graduated first in his class. Who really cares, after all? It’s just another example of a falsehood.

  • The New York Times didn’t claim he was first in his class. Trump made that claim to the New York Times.

  • Charles Martel

    Not so fast. First, it’s hard to know whether transfers at Penn in the ’60s were eligible for Latin honors or to be ranked as class valedictorian. Second, the actual text of the article in Daily Pennsylvania is pretty favorable to Trump’s academic seriousness:

    A 1968 Wharton graduate who did not want to be named said that Trump “sat in the front row [of their Real Estate class], raised his hand a lot to answer questions and had a heavy New York accent.”

    1968 Wharton graduate Roger Fulton Jr. made similar remarks, adding that he recalls Trump as “very focused on his studies.”

    1968 Wharton graduate Edward Pollard also described Trump as “very professional” and “different from the rest of the class.”

    Third, academic performance at the elite b-schools is relatively unimportant except for snaring certain consulting and finance gigs.

  • C. Taylor

    Come on, guys. Other than saying he’s ‘like, really smart’, exactly where do you suggest Trump claimed to be first in class?

    I do see that the NYT claimed Trump was first in class–and I see that Wharton does not deny that Trump was first in class.

    “[In] ‘just about every profile ever written’ about Mr. Trump — including stories in The New York Times in 1973 and 1976 — journalists say that he graduated first in his class at Wharton . . . [When asked,] the school refused comment” ~ NYT

  • Kellyanne Conway

    He only offered alternative facts.

  • p

    Most of the content from this article and from the sources DP article is actually from a 2015 DP article. This was reported upon heavily during the election cycle.

  • Hahaha

    Where were these journalists when Trump was spouting off lies about his performance in school during the election?

    Nowhere.

    It appears that the editors of the Daily Pennsylvanian are lazy students just like Donald Trump was.

    Makes sense because back then Penn was the lowest ranked Ivy. (It was not Cornell. Penn was like >22 in any college ranking)

  • RR

    Ah, the optimism of liars and crooks.

  • Tina

    Not a surprise in the least; thanks for confirming.