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Higher Ed in the News

Obama still remembers a 'B' he received from Occidental College professor

August 17, 2009

Last week, President Barack Obama had a reunion in the Oval Office with Occidental College politics professor Roger Boesche. The two hadn't seen each other since 1981, when Obama was about to transfer from the Los Angeles college to Columbia University in New York.

Over the years, Obama has cited Boesche as one of his most influential teachers

On Aug. 13, they met again at the president's invitation. Boesche, said Obama jokingly recalled that pesky "B" Boesche had given him on a paper on European political thought. The president, Boesche said, also reminded him that he had turned down Obama's appeal for an "A."

Asked if he had seen the makings of a president in his young student nearly 30 years ago, Boesche said he could not claim he had. He urged other professors and teachers to "realize that in any class, you could have a child, a young man or woman, who could do incredibly great things in the world. So teach as well as you can."

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Read the full story from the Los Angeles Times.