News | Jan. 9 4:01 pm EST
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Could ‘studying in Obama’ be the new ‘studying in Butler’?

Courtesy of Asiya Khaki / Barnard College

By his own admission, most of the time President Barack Obama, CC ’83, spent at Columbia was in the library. So what better way to honor his legacy than by building one just for him?

According to a report in Crain’s Chicago Business today, the University is vying to build Obama’s presidential library in Manhattan when he leaves office. Crain’s Greg Hinz reports that University President Lee Bollinger is “directly involved,” and that Columbia “has sent word to President Barack Obama’s inner circle that it’s prepared to do what’s necessary to win the library.” He writes:

The school’s pitch, I’m told, is that Mr. Obama attended the school, that Columbia is a world-class institution, and that New York might be a good spot not only for the library, but also for the president and first lady Michelle Obama to live after his term ends. Beyond that, raising money should be no problem in liberal New York, one of the wealthiest locations on the planet.

University spokesperson Robert Hornsby gave Hinz a non-denial: ”We’re not in a position to comment on this.” Spec has reached out to Hornsby as well… not that you should expect a better answer than that.

Honolulu (Obama’s birthplace) and Chicago (where he worked as a community organizer) are other contenders, with the University of Chicago at “frontrunner” status, according to the Sun-Times. Obama, a political science major, transferred to Columbia College in 1981 after two years at Occidental College in California.

There are still several unplanned sites in Manhattanville. Maybe Obama likes neuroscience and shopping at Fairway?

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COMMENTS (18)

  1. Anonymous • January 9, 2014 at 4:57 pm • Reply

    Manhattanville would be a fabulous location for the library and the obvious choice. New York and Columbia would attract far more visitors than the other locations.

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  2. Really? • January 9, 2014 at 9:41 pm • Reply

    “prepared to do what’s necessary to win the library”

    how about fix all the issues we have first?!

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  3. Anonymous • January 10, 2014 at 12:03 am • Reply

    They should build it on Barnard’s campus just for the lulz

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    • Anonymous • January 10, 2014 at 7:51 pm • Reply

      Barnard is actually building a new library

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      • CU_Alum • January 12, 2014 at 6:33 pm •

        An Obama library would be about Obama, his presidency, and related topics. It would mostly hold his papers and those of his administration. Even if it’s built at a university, It wouldn’t share space with the university’s own library.

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  4. Andrew Bauer • January 12, 2014 at 9:36 am • Reply

    I WAS A GRAD STUDENT IN PHILOSOPHY AT COLUMBIA FOR THREE YEARS IN THE SIXTIES AND ALTHOUGH I LEFT FOR A LIFE IN THE THEATRE WITHOUT
    OBTAINING A DEGREE HAVE ALWAYS LOVED COLUMBIA AND, HAPPILY, ALWAYS TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THE LIFE OF THE UNIVERSITY FROM SEMINARS IN PHILOSOPHY HALL TO FALL FOOTBALL TO GETTING INTO THE BARNARD COLLEGE GREEK GAMES. ALSO AS AN OBAMA ADHERENT I WOULD LOVE TO SEE HIS LIBRARY AT COLUMBIA. APOLOGIES: ALL OF MY MONEY IS GOING TO GEORGETOWN. ANDREW BAUER

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