Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

My Alma Mater Rejected Obama

Apparently it’s true: Swarthmore College, my alma mater, rejected Obama:

The admissions office may have to keep mum, but senior Joel Mittleman ’09 actually had the chance to personally confirm the rumor when Obama held an open town hall at Strath Haven High School during the Pennsylvania primaries. “I did ask Obama [whether it was true],” he says, “not during the actual question and answer, but as he was walking the line shaking hands afterwards.” Mittleman recalls the Senator laughing in response, asking him where he heard the information, and then saying “Yes, it’s true. It really broke my heart, actually.”

Alum Anne Kolker ’08, a former intern in the Senate office and Mittleman’s original source of the rumor, further confirmed the story: “Yes, the first thing President-elect Obama said to me was “Ah, Swarthmore, great school. They rejected me.” Thankfully, Kolker reports Obama held no grudge against her. Here’s hoping admissions doesn’t write off any other presidential hopefuls.

Too bad, would have made our reunion weekends more interesting.


November 17, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,


  1. It would have made reunions more interesting, but I was quite pleased to learn that I got in that year (1979) and he didn’t. Granted, he has gone on to be elected Preisdent of the U.S., but I at least have bragging rights.


    Ben Langhinrichs Class of ’84
    (accepted class of ’83 but deferred for AFS)

    Comment by Ben Langhinrichs | December 12, 2008 | Reply

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