Donald Trump Mentioned Wharton Again in the Debate Last Night

Trump has said for years he was one of the best students in his class. Will he ever release his transcripts to prove it?

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to members of the audience during a commercial break at a CNN town hall at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C., Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Donald Trump speaks to members of the audience during a commercial break at a CNN town hall at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C., Thursday. | AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Donald Trump and I have something in common. We are both graduates of the University of Pennsylvania.

The similarities end there, I suppose, though Ivanka Trump was in my graduating class. (I didn’t know her.) Trump mentions his college a lot, but he doesn’t even say he went to Penn. He always tells audiences he attended the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. I’m too busy trying to explain I didn’t go to Penn State. (Once President Trump is in office, this will be punishable by law.)

But Trump doesn’t just mention that he went to Wharton. At the same time, he also talks up Wharton’s stature. “It’s like super genius stuff,” Trump has said. “The best school in the world.” Wharton, the first business school in the U.S., is often ranked the best business school in the world. Trump only went to Penn for his final two years of undergrad. (He started at Fordham.) People who go to Wharton undergrad generally say they go to Penn, but maybe that changes after graduation if someone’s trying to make it in the business world. Trump doesn’t have a Wharton MBA.

He also once had this exchange with NBC’s Chuck Todd, per the Daily Pennsylvanian:

In an Aug. 16 television interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” [Trump] described the school as “probably the hardest there is to get into.”

He added, “Some of the great business minds in the world have gone to Wharton.”

“Why do you have to tell us all the time that you went to Wharton?” moderator Chuck Todd asked. “People know you’re successful.”

“They know it’s a great business school,” Trump replied.

Hey, Trump actually answered the rhetorical question. Trump frequently touts his own performance at Wharton, too. The Daily Beast notes Trump said he was first in his class in a 1973 New York Times interview, which has now been repeated all over. It’s also been questioned since the 1980s, and the dean’s list for Trump’s graduation year in the Daily Pennsylvanian doesn’t list Trump. (He was busy: The Boston Globe reported Trump was already working for his father while an undergraduate.)

Last night during CNN’s Republican town hall, Trump name-dropped Wharton again, saying only the smartest people get in there.

Since he brags about what a great student he was, The Daily Beast says he ought to release his transcripts. Sure, why not? Another thing I don’t have in common with Trump: His grades are probably better than mine.

Follow @dhm on Twitter.