dcsimg
You are here:

Celebrating Presidents Day: The Education of Our National Leaders

As the leader of the most powerful country in the world, the President of the United States must responsibly manage both domestic and international affairs. Lucky for us, though many Presidents did obviate the traditional college and university system, each did clearly possess the willingness to educate himself. So in honor of President’s Day, let’s examine some of the more unique educational paths to the Presidency.

Presidents

George Washington, our very first Commander in Chief, attended the College of William and Mary to obtain his surveyor’s license. Even though the early death of his father abruptly halted Washington’s formal schooling, he remained an enthusiastic proponent of education. In his will, he provided resources and funds to support three different educational institutions.

Many people overlook the fact that Thomas Jefferson was an intellectual. It wasn’t that he just smart a President, he was an exceptionally smart person. At the age of 16, Jefferson enrolled in President Washington’s alma mater, the College of William and Mary, where he studied mathematics, metaphysics and philosophy. Jefferson graduated after only two years, with highest honors – and proceeded to earn admission into the Virginia State Bar some five years later.

Seven score and eight years ago, Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, proclaiming a birth of freedom and equality in the nation. Through his conquests on a less beaten road, Lincoln personified the American Dream—in total, Honest Abe received approximately 18 months of formal education, most of which was provided by unqualified instructors. Lincoln was mainly self-educated and a self-guided reader, spending countless hours digesting every newspaper and book that came his way.

Three prominent individuals reached presidency from military-educated backgrounds. Ulysses S. Grant and Dwight D. Eisenhower claimed their stakes at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. And even though President Eisenhower’s parents rejected militarism, they couldn’t say no to a free education. Before Jimmy Carter’s stint as a successful peanut farmer and one-term president, he bested hundreds of other midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating 59th in his class of 820.

Not only did Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt share the same last name, they were fifth cousins and Harvard College alumnus as well. Teddy was an ambitious reader with a photographic memory, earning Phi Beta Kappa honors and admission into Columbia Law School—he dropped out of law school after only one year to pursue a career in politics. Better known as FDR, the younger Roosevelt followed Teddy’s footsteps. FDR was also admitted into Columbia Law School, but dropped out after passing the New York State Bar.

Some of our more recent presidents are no slouches either. Bill Clinton earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, received a Rhodes Scholarship to study government at Oxford, and acquired a J.D. from Yale Law School. Contrary to the opinion of many folks on the left, George W. Bush is no dummy. George W. is a Yale alumn, and he is currently the only president with an M.B.A.—from Harvard Business School, no less. Our prevailing chief executive, President Barack Obama, graduated from Columbia College with a degree in political science. He is also the second president to have earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

As evidenced by the contrasting degrees of education among our presidents, no standard institution or instruction is needed to ascend to the highest office in the land. Although many of our previous leaders earned degrees from highly-ranked universities and colleges, many others emerged from humble, unassuming beginnings. Success is only limited by self-imposed restrictions. Pay homage to our presidential predecessors and celebrate your potential triumphs as well.

Search Schools

      
Matching School Ads
  • Ashford University

    You've found Ashford University, where school comes to you. Earn your bachelor's or master's degree online.

    Programs

    • AA/Early Childhood Education
    • BA/Early Childhood Education Administration
    • BA/Education Studies
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Ashford University Request Info »
  • Full Sail University - Online

    Push Your Creativity To The Next Level

    Programs

    • Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
    • Internet Marketing, Master of Science (Online)
    • Music Production, Bachelors of Science (Online)
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Full Sail University - Online Request Info »
  • Argosy University

    Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges.

    Programs

    • Psychology (BA) (Online)
    • Business Administration - Accounting (BS) (Online)
    • Business Administration - Healthcare Management (BS) (Online)
    • More...
    Location:
    Phoenix: 2233 West Dunlap Ave., Phoenix AZ 85021
    Argosy University Request Info »
  • Syracuse University - EMPA

    The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs is Syracuse University’s home for innovative, interdisciplinary teaching and research in the social sciences, public policy, public administration, and international relations.

    Programs

    • Executive Master of Public Administration (Executive MPA)

    Location: Online

    Syracuse University - EMPA Request Info »
  • Simmons College - MBA

    MBA@Simmons is the Master of Business Administration program delivered online from Simmons School of Management.

    Programs

    • MBA@Simmons

    Location: Online

    Simmons College - MBA Request Info »
  • Platt College

    Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.

    Programs

    • Veterinary Technology Alternate Route - Certificate
    • Respiratory Therapy
    • Veterinary Technology - Associates
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Platt College Request Info »
  • Capella University

    An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession.

    Programs

    • DBA - Global Operations and Supply Chain Management (ACBSP-accredited)
    • EdS - Teacher Leader in Digital Transformation
    • MS - Addiction Studies
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Capella University Request Info »
  • Liberty University

    Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

    Programs

    • Doctor of Education: Community Care & Counseling: Marriage & Family
    • Doctor of Ministry: Evangelism & Church Planting
    • M.Div: Homiletics
    • More...
    Location:
    Lynchburg: 1971 University Blvd, , Lynchburg VA 24515
    Liberty University Request Info »
  • Brighton College

    Programs

    • Home Inspection Certificate
    • Business Accounting Clerk Program
    • A.S. Business Management
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Brighton  College Request Info »
  • University of Nevada - Reno

    At the University of Nevada, Reno, we teach public health practitioners how to look beyond physical conditions and consider environmental, economic and sociological factors that impact individual and community health, happiness and well-being.

    The online Master of Public Health in Public Health Practice is designed to prepare you for employment in nearly any area of the public health field.

    Programs

    • Online Master of Public Health (MPH)

    Location: Online

    University of Nevada - Reno Request Info »
  • Matching School Ads

    Quick School Search

    College & Career Search Tools

    • Careers: Unsure about your career path? Study profiles of hundreds of professions.

    • Interviews: Professors and deans sit down with our team to give you unique insights on college life.

    • Military Education: Find only Military friendly online schools and campuses.

    • Student Reviews: Know before you go. Read student reviews on over 2000 accredited colleges. Write your own experience.