Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed to be "a really smart guy" and "a really good student at the best school in the country." In fact, Trump, for decades, has apparently told journalists who have profiled him in newspaper articles that he graduated "first in his class" at Wharton School of Finance, where he spent the final two years of his undergraduate career.
But now a longtime close friend of a respected Wharton professor has revealed that the professor remembered Trump — who attended Wharton as an undergrad for two academic years, from 1966 to his graduation in 1968 — as less than the brilliant student Trump often claims to be.
In fact, according to a blog post Thursday on the political site Daily Kos, a marketing professor at Wharton from 1951 to 1982, frequently described Trump as "the dumbest g****** student I ever had." Read the entire post by Kelley's friend close friend of 47 years, Frank DiPrima, by visiting this link.
Trump's own academic performance came under a spotlight as far back as 2011, when speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Trump ridiculed President Barack Obama's career as a student, claiming that Obama was a "terrible student" and questioning how such an allegedly "bad student" gained admission to Ivy League Columbia University and Harvard Law School.
In fact, Obama graduated from Columbia with a political science degree in 1993, then later attended Harvard Law School where he graduated magna cum laude in 1991. At the law school, Obama was also elected president of the prestigious Harvard Law review, the first African-American to hold the elite position in the 104 years of the publication's existence.
But what about Trump? While it is impossible to determine whether Trump was "the dumbest g****** student" that Kelley ever taught, research has shown that Trump's undergraduate record was undistinguished at best. Far from graduating at the top of his class, research by The Daily Pennsylvanian showed that Trump failed to make the Dean's List in his senior year — and graduated without honors.
Trump has long refused to release his academic records, and the University of Pennsylvania — of which the Wharton School of Finance is a part — has a policy against releasing student transcripts.
Trump began his college career at New York City's Fordham University, attending Wharton as a transfer student after two years at his hometown school. But according to one biographer, Trump was admitted to the Ivy League institution only after "an interview with a friendly Wharton admissions officer who was one of (Trump's brother) Freddy's old high school classmates."
"Professor Kelley told me 100 times over three decades that 'Donald Trump was the dumbest g******* student I ever had,'" wrote DiPrima in his Daily Kos post. "Dr. Kelley told me this after Trump had become a celebrity but long before he was considered a political figure. Dr. Kelley often referred to Trump's arrogance when he told of this — that Trump came to Wharton thinking he already knew everything."
Kelley, who received the 1954 Herbert W. Hess Memorial Award for Distinguished Service in Marketing, died in 2011 at the age of 94.
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