Where Do Presidents Come From?

A question that can answered in so many ways. As most of us know, the commonwealth of Virginia holds the distinction of birthing more of our nation’s chief executives than any other state, a total of 8. Hawaii, as with a number of other states has had one. You know who that is, do you not?

My native state of North Carolina is generally credited with 2, Polk and Andrew Johnson. Sometime we get Jackson, but not always. Polk, the 11th president, was elected way back in  1844. As time stature seems to be on the upswing and he  generally ranks close to the top 10 in rankings of our best presidents.

Polk has a singular distinction in that he is the  only president to attend my “adopted alma mater” of the University of North Carolina, having graduated as  a Tar Heel in  1818, less than 25 years after the school’s founding. That fact  made me wonder. How may presidents have graduated from public universities versus Harvard, Yale and other  Ivy League institutions?  No aspersion meant on these schools. I was just wondering how the numbers looked. Harvard had 8 and Yale had 5 to lead the way. The sources I  checked showed only 1 other  president to attend  a state university(Gerald Ford-Michigan).

Does this mean anything, probably not. But still, it has been a long time since Polk with only Ford to fill the gap. State universities, while they have high academic standards  and produce excellent graduates, are by nature a different animal than the private schools, i.e. cost, for one thing.

It would just be nice to have another chief executive from say, UNC, or Kansas or  some such school. Just to break up the private school monotony, if nothing else., ya think?

Still not sure if I answered the title question though.


January 11, 2010 - Posted by | Culture, education, History | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I re-learn something that I had forgot many moons ago! So North Carolina our Tarheel State produced 2 presidents. I like it that we didn’t produce Barack Obama and or the other worst president Jimmy Carter! I don’t see anyone in North Carolina becoming president at the present.

    Comment by goodtimepolitics | January 12, 2010 | Reply

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