President Barack Obama on Monday afternoon will deliver the commencement address at Barnard College in New York City. Barnard is a women's college that is part of Columbia University.
Obama Look for the president to focus on the role of women in public life.
You can watch the president’s speech live here:
Obama graduated from Columbia College — which sits across Broadway at 116 Street from Barnard — in 1983 after transferring there from Occidental College as a junior in 1981.
At Columbia, Obama majored in political science with a specialty in international relations and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1983.
Before Columbia, Obama was a sort of rogue, drinking and experimenting with drugs. His first two years at Occidental were years in which Obama says he "goofed off" a lot.
That changed when he transferred to Columbia. “I realized I wanted to be in a more vibrant, urban environment,” he says. As a transfer student, he didn’t receive housing, so lived off campus in various makeshift arrangements, such as living in one bedroom of a three-bedroom apartment, and renting a sixth-floor walk-up with slanting floors on the East Side, “just north of gentrification,” as he describes it.
As he pursued a political science degree, Obama says he was somewhat involved with the Black Students Organization and participated in anti-apartheid activities. “Mostly, my years at Columbia were an intense period of study,” he says. “When I transferred, I decided to buckle down and get serious. I spent a lot of time in the library. I didn’t socialize that much. I was like a monk.”
Columbia, an Ivy League school, did not admit women until 1983.
The commencement ceremony will be held on the South Lawn of Columbia's campus. Obama will address about 600 members of the class of 2012 and receive the school's "Medal of Distinction," its top honor.