Former Senior Lecturer Barack Obama Elected President of the United States

Former Senior Lecturer Barack Obama Elected President of the United States
November 4, 2008

The University of Chicago Law School congratulates former Senior Lecturer Barack Obama on his election to the office of President of the United States. 

“Barack Obama will soon have one of the few titles more impressive than the one he had here,” said Saul Levmore, Dean and William B. Graham Professor of Law. “I have never seen so many happy students, and such excitement about Election Day. At the University of Chicago Law School, we pride ourselves on analytic coolness, but it is not often that one’s neighbor and colleague is elected to the Presidency of the United States. I think we can be forgiven our excesses this one time. That he is a thoughtful person, an excellent teacher, an inspiring role model, and—most recently—a brilliant political campaigner just adds to the warm glow. We, as a country, have a new opportunity to repair our economic strains, to provide leadership in an interdependent world, and to educate our children; I hope Barack Obama and the entire nation prove up to the task.”

Former Dean Douglas Baird, who recruited Obama to the Law School faculty when Obama was still a third-year student at Harvard, also offered his congratulations: "From the open and robust debates he generated in every class to the many more informal displays of his tenacious mind and incisive wit, it was a great privilege to have had Barack Obama with us for twelve years. We wish him well."

Constitutional law scholar David Strauss, Gerald Ratner Distinguished Service Professor of Law, offered that “at the Law School we have known for a long time what the nation saw over the last several months—that Barack Obama is both amazingly gifted and a deeply human person. We are very fortunate to have him as our President at this time in our history.”

“Barack Obama is the product of many influences, one of which is undoubtedly the many years he spent at the University of Chicago,” noted Geoffrey R. Stone, Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law. “As a teacher and colleague, he was always curious, probing, open-minded, and rigorous. Those are good qualities for a President, and we are very proud that he honed and reinforced them here at the University of Chicago Law School.”

Barack Obama taught at the Law School from 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004. During those years, he brought a dynamic teaching presence to his courses, which included “Constitutional Law III: Equal Protection,” “Voting Rights and the Democratic Process,” and a seminar entitled “Current Issues in Racism and the Law.”

The entire Law School community applauds President-Elect Obama on his victory and wishes him well during his term of office.