Read the Commencement Issue in print
Check out the digital Commencement Issue
Try our latest crossword

Michelle Obama ’85: Former First Lady of the United States

<h5>First Lady Michelle Obama ’85 posed for her official portrait in 2013.</h5>
<h6>Courtesy of The White House / <a href="" target="_self">Chuck Kennedy</a></h6>
First Lady Michelle Obama ’85 posed for her official portrait in 2013.
Courtesy of The White House / Chuck Kennedy

Michelle Obama, who concentrated in Sociology, spent eight years as the United States’ first African American first lady, beginning with the 2008 election of her husband, President Barack Obama. Since leaving the White House, Obama’s profile and influence have only grown, and 2020 has been no exception.

Obama began the year as Gallup’s most admired woman. In recent months, Obama has encouraged voting through When We All Vote, an organization she founded, and delivered a blockbuster speech at the Democratic National Convention, lauded for her biting remarks and compelling oratory — firmly establishing Obama as one of the nation’s most effective political communicators.


The former first lady has been prominent in the media. Her and her husband’s Higher Ground Productions has blossomed, with a win at the Academy Awards for “American Factory,” the release of “Crip Camp” and “Becoming” (which follows Obama on the book tour for her best-selling memoir), and orders for future projects. Over the summer, Obama launched a Spotify-exclusive podcast, which joins the multiple playlists she previously curated.

All in all, Obama remains one of the nation’s top tastemakers and political influencers.



Most Popular