It has been written Barack Obama started his college life in Southern California with the desire to grow intellectually as well as discover the “Black” side of his ethnicity. He choose Occidental College (OXY) which is a liberal arts college that is nestled in the Eagle Rock community about eight miles north of downtown Los Angeles. Obama attended Oxy from 1979 to 1981. From there he spent his Junior and Senior years at Columbia University in New York.
His first year residence was in Haines Hall. It has markers noting his presence. Additionally, in 1981 he gave a speech to protest apartheid in South Africa. There is also a plaque near the square where the speech was given.
During his second year, he relocated with several other classmates and took up residence at 253 Glenarm Avenue in Pasadena, CA. It too has a marker noting his presence.
[postscript – as a side note, much as been written about President Barack Obama and how Occidental College helped him develop. He had two other roommates when he lived in Haines Hall. Coincidentally, one was Paul Carpenter who before going to Oxy lived in Diamond Bar and attended Ganesha High School in Pomona. He must have graduated in 1978 or maybe before the semester started in 1979? I too graduated from Ganesha, of course earlier in 1970. Back in the mid to late 70’s Fiat’s were a popular car. It is noted Obama drove a “red sedan” so my take is it was a “Brava” as the smaller sedan was a 128 S which I purchased in 1978, and of course it too was red.]