Here’s The 5-Sentence Personal Essay That Helped JFK Get Into Harvard

Here’s The 5-Sentence Personal Essay That Helped JFK Get Into Harvard

PETER JACOBS NOV. 20, 2013, 1:19 PM 49,634 53

Without a doubt, John F. Kennedy is one of Harvard University’s most accomplished and impressive graduates. However, the former POTUS was not the best applicant when he decided he wanted to take up residence in Cambridge, Mass. He had poor grades from high school, and while he had spent two months at Princeton University before leaving due to an illness, even his own father called him “careless.” In anticipation of the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, The Washington Post has highlighted many of his school records, including a handwritten Harvard application. You can check out the digitized originals at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. As part of the Harvard application — which at the time was a mere three pages — students were asked to give a “careful answer” to the question “Why do you wish to come to Harvard?” Here’s what a young JFK had to say:

The reasons that I have for wishing to go to Harvard are several. I feel that Harvard can give me a better background and a better liberal education than any other university. I have always wanted to go there, as I have felt that it is not just another college, but is a university with something definite to offer. Then too, I would like to go to the same college as my father. To be a “Harvard man” is an enviable distinction, and one that I sincerely hope I shall attain.

April 23, 1935
John F. Kennedy

From the JFK library, here’s the original:

john kennedy jfk harvard university application essay

 

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Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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