Rethinking Nixon at Duke: A Student Speaks Up


    RN pictured with the Duke Law School class of 1937.

    Mousa Alshanteer, a freshman at Duke University, writes that his school should have more appreciation for its most successful alumnus:

    Richard Nixon once described “the great American legend as to how presidential candidates are born and made.” According to the legend, a mother would take her newborn son out of his crib, look into his eyes and proclaim, “You, son, are going to be president someday.”

    Since the day he was born, President Nixon excelled at everything he did. At Whittier College he played football, practiced competitive debate, founded a new literary society, became involved with student government and helped with the family’s business. His application to Duke Law School included three recommendations, one of which was written by Whittier’s president, who wrote, “I cannot recommend him too highly because I believe that Nixon will become one of America’s important, if not great leaders.” After receiving an acceptance and full-tuition scholarship to Duke, Nixon told his friends that he would one day give back to the institution in extraordinary ways. Nixon not only had to deal with intense competition among students to keep his scholarship, but he also worked in the library to pay back loans.

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