One of President Donald Trump’s Wharton professors didn’t have fond memories of him as a student, his longtime friend recalls.
Lawyer Frank DiPrima wrote an article at Daily Kos recalling what professor William T. Kelley had to say about his time teaching the future president.
Kelley taught marketing at Wharton School of Business and Finance at the University of Pennsylvania for over three decades.
Trump was an undergraduate student at Wharton when Kelley worked there.
“Professor Kelley told me 100 times over three decades that ‘Donald Trump was the dumbest goddam student I ever had,’” DiPrima writes. “I remember his emphasis and inflection — it went like this — ‘Donald Trump was the dumbest goddam student I ever had.’ Dr. Kelley told me this after Trump had become a celebrity but long before he was considered a political figure. Dr. Kelley often referred to Trump’s arrogance when he told of this — that Trump came to Wharton thinking he already knew everything.”
DiPrima noted that others at the school had similar recollections of Trump’s time there.
According to an article in the Daily Pennsylvanian, biographer Gwenda Blair wrote that Trump was admitted to Wharton “on a special favor from a ‘friendly’ admissions officer. The officer had known Trump’s older brother, Freddy.”
Steve Perelman, who was Trump’s classmate in 1968, recalled that “He was not in any kind of leadership. I certainly doubt he was the smartest guy in the class.”
Wharton grad Larry Krohn said he doesn’t remember Trump ever making an impression. Some students believe he skipped many classes.
“Four years — including lots of required classes — is a long time never to hear of a classmate, especially with such a distinctive name,” Krohn told the Daily Pennsylvanian.
The paper spoke to 13 classmates, only one of whom actually remembered Trump – and it was a different version than the one we see on TV each day.
“I liked him. I thought he was a really nice low-key guy,” classmate Ted Sachs said. “He was very self effacing — he never talked about himself.”
Trump, meanwhile, has name-dropped the school repeatedly in speeches and interviews as proof he’s “like, a really smart person.”
“I went to the Wharton School of Finance,” he said at a campaign rally in Arizona. “I’m, like, a really smart person.”
In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Trump said that school is “probably the hardest there is to get into.”
“Some of the great business minds in the world have gone to Wharton,” Trump added.
“Why do you have to tell us all the time that you went to Wharton?” host Chuck Todd asked. “People know you’re successful.”
“They know it’s a great business school,” Trump said.
In his book “The Art of the Deal,” Trump claimed he didn’t think much of Wharton but others did.
“In my opinion, that [Wharton] degree doesn’t prove very much, but a lot of people I do business with take it very seriously, and it’s considered very prestigious,” Trump said, via a ghostwriter. “It didn’t take long to realize that there was nothing particularly awesome or exceptional about my classmates, and that I could compete with them just fine.”