Colleges for Presidents


Today is Presidents’ Day, or maybe President’s Day, or perhaps just Presidents Day. Washington’s Birthday?

In honor of this, let’s take a look at the colleges most likely to produce presidential material.

The American college with the most graduates who went on to become president is Harvard University, with eight presidents, five of whom (Kennedy, both Adamses, and both Roosevelts) attended as undergraduates.

Yale is a close second, with five presidents. Three of them (Taft and both Bushes) attended as undergraduates.

Other colleges with multiple presidents include Columbia (Obama as an undergraduate, both Roosevelts started law school there), Princeton (Madison and Wilson), West Point (Grant and Eisenhower), Georgetown (Clinton as an undergraduate, Lyndon Johnson started law school there), and the College of William and Mary (all pre-Civil War: Jefferson, Monroe, and Tyler).

In some vague sense this day is a holiday to honor all the presidents. Like that guy, the celebrated Benjamin Harrison (Miami of Ohio ’52). Well, not really. Actually the day has more to do with just Lincoln and Washington, whose birthdates are 11 days (and almost 80 years) apart.

Neither Washington nor Lincoln attended college, or really even high school. [Image via]

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer