Obama’s College Days Memorialized in Pasadena Plaque

Obama-plaque-12-19-2016 (John Antczak / Associated Press)
John Antczak / Associated Press

On Saturday, a sidewalk plaque was dedicated to President Barack Obama in front of the Pasadena, California apartment building in which he briefly lived during his sophomore year at Occidental College.

According to Southern California Public Radio, the efforts to install the sidewalk plaque began with Pasadena City Councilman Steve Madison, five years ago.

“There is tremendous interest that there is sort of a living link between Pasadena and the President of the United States,” Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek told SCPR’s radio station KPCC.

Obama lived in the Pasadena apartment building located at 253 Glenarm Street from 1980 to 1981 during his sophomore year at Occidental College before transferring to Columbia University, where he achieved his undergraduate degree before attending law school at Harvard.

“We know what unit [he lived in] but we are trying not to publicize that,” Tornek told KPCC. “We don’t want to intrude on people’s privacy.”

Obama’s college years were documented most extensively by David Maraniss in Barack Obama: The Story  in 2012.

Occidental College has been the site of much contention over the past few years, including last November when students and faculty “occupied” the administrative building on the college campus and kicked a Breitbart News reporter out of their “safe space” because they felt “threatened” by her presence.

The protests and occupation were part of a series of demands from students, operating under the umbrella of Oxy United for Black Liberation, which included calls for President Jonathan Veitcht to step down, the creation of a “fully funded and staffed Black Studies Program,” increasing funding for diversity initiatives, training all campus staff on minority student needs, and the “demilitarization” of unarmed campus safety by the removal of their bulletproof vests.

The students ended their six-day occupation of the Arthur G. Coons Administrative Center building in late November.

This past September, Vandals destroyed a 9/11 memorial created by the school’s Republican Club for the ocassion of the fifteenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz


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