Sydney S. Gross
Director of Communications
Barack Obama '83 became the first College alumnus to be elected President of the United States. On November 4, Obama defeated his Republican challenger, Sen. John McCain P'07, ending a marathon campaign that saw Obama rise from a first-term senator to the nation's first African-American president.
Obama, who was profiled in Columbia College Today in January 2005 when he burst upon the national political scene, transferred to Columbia from Occidental prior to his junior year.
In one of their few joint appearances, the candidates were interviewed in Roone Arledge Auditorium on September 11 at the Service Nation Presidential Candidates Forum.
This year's Presidential election had four candidates with strong College ties on the ballot. In addition to Obama being an alumnus, McCain's daughter, Meghan, is a 2007 College alumna; Wayne Allyn Root '83 was the Libertarian Party Vice-Presidential nominee running with Bob Barr; and Matt Gonzalez '87 ran as an independent candidate on the same ticketas Ralph Nader.