Pasadena Commemorates Obama's College Apartment

For those who want to savor the last bits of Obama news before January 20, here is your chance. The city of Pasadena has honored the outgoing commander-in-chief with a plaque and commemoration ceremony at 253 Glenarm Street, President Obama’s residence from 1980 to 1981.

Obama, who spent his freshman and sophomore years at Occidental College, would transfer to Columbia University in New York City after the ’80-’81 school year.

“There is tremendous interest that there is sort of a living link between Pasadena and the President of the United States,” Terry Tornek, the mayor of Pasadena told KPCC.

“In the development of the person he was to become, Oxy was significant,” David Maraniss, a biographer of Obama, writes in Barack Obama: The Story, notes Occidental College. “It was a school with a subset of intellectual professors and sophisticated students one and two years ahead of him who steered his interests toward politics and writing…And it was where, in anticipation of that still uncharted journey, he felt the first stirrings of destiny, a sense, he told friends, that he was brought into this world for a purpose.”

“It’s a wonderful, small liberal arts college,” Obama himself said of the roughly 4,000 student college in Eagle Rock. “The professors were diverse and inspiring. I ended up making some lifelong friendships there, and those first two years really helped me grow up.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, over 200 people showed up to the see the commemorative plaque placed outside the Pasadena apartment building on Saturday morning.

“We know what unit [he lived in] but we are trying not to publicize that,” Tornek added. “We don’t want to intrude on people’s privacy.”