Legacy of the President’s Mother

January 14th, 2009  |  by  |  Published in Cover Story, Features, Jan. 2009  |  57 Comments

The candidacy and election of President Barack Obama drew international eyes to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, where his parents met. But among some at the university, it is Obama’s late mother who stirs strong emotions of memory and hope.

Stanley Ann Dunham took an unconventional approach to life on both personal and professional levels. Her son’s book portrays her as an innocent, kind and generous; academics who knew her and reporters who have discovered her describe the idealism and optimism of her worldview and work ethic.

In her work, she was not a romantic, rather appreciating the artistic while dealing with the realistic, one contemporary observes.

Dunham was born in Kansas and attended high school in Washington State. Moving to Hawaiʻi with her parents, she entered UH in 1960. In Russian class, she met the first African student to attend UH, charismatic Barack Obama Sr., who moved in politically liberal, intellectual student circles that included future Congressman Neil Abercrombie. They married and had Barack Obama Jr. in 1961.

Obama Sr. left his family for Harvard and then Kenya. Dunham returned to UH, earning a math degree. She pursued graduate work, married another international student, Lolo Soetoro, and returned with him to Indonesia. There she began extensive research and fieldwork and welcomed the birth of daughter Maya Kassandra Soetoro, nine years Barack’s junior.

Although eventually divorced a second time, Dunham is credited with encouraging her children’s appreciation of their ethnic heritages.

“She was one of the most caring mothers you can imagine,” recalls UH Librarian Bron Solyom, a fellow graduate student who shared scholarly interests and a lasting friendship.

Weaving her studies as an anthropologist with her role as a mother and using United States-based correspondence materials, recordings of gospel singer Mahalia Jackson and speeches by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Dunham home-schooled both of her children in the early morning hours before classes at the nearby Indonesian school.

“She instilled in us a love of books, based on the understanding that we could journey anywhere and that any world could belong to us,” Maya Soetoro-Ng told an overflow audience at a September 2008 UH Mānoa symposium about her mother’s work.

“She had an expansive notion of the world and of our possibilities within it. What a remarkable person she was.”

Anthropology in Indonesia

Dunham’s fieldwork immersed the children in the experiences of rural villages and of the peasants who hammered at iron, wove fibers, threw pots and expertly dyed fabrics in the method of batik. While her children were exposed to a world that embraced ancient traditions of craftwork in a modern world, Dunham worked to preserve and strengthen the crafts as viable industry for Javanese villages.

Dunham reluctantly sent 10-year-old Barack to live with her parents, Stanley and Madelyn “Toot” Dunham in Honolulu, where he attended Punahou School on scholarship. Maya’s home-schooling continued; often while accompanying her mother on excursions as photographer or note-taker. Dunham received her master’s degree from UH in 1983.

Soetoro-Ng said her brother credits Dunham’s empathy for his own ability to build bridges between people and countries, within the nation and with the rest of the world.

Solyom, who also studied Indonesian blacksmithing, said men admitted Dunham into their smithies, where she focused on both the intricacies of the work itself and the smithies’ role within the social and economic environment.

“Women were not welcome in the forge,” she told the symposium audience, whose members ranged from Dunham’s college contemporaries to youthful Obama supporters. “She worked with ease in what was a male workplace and was accepted in an industry dominated by men. This was an important achievement on her part. From a ceremonial or ritual point of view, the presence of a woman could be seen as the cause of a problem.”

Sound scholarship

Dunham’s extensive data proved the importance of non-agricultural rural industry alongside agriculture in a developing region’s ability to survive and thrive, Solyom says.

A detailed ethnographic study of Indonesian blacksmithing makes up the central portion of Dunham’s 1,000-page doctoral thesis. She completed the thesis in 1992 and was working with advisor Alice Dewey, emeritus professor of anthropology, to get parts of it published when she died of cancer just three years later at age 53.

A translated portion of part of Peasant Blacksmithing in Indonesia: Surviving and Thriving Against All Odds is under review by an Indonesian publishing house. Dewey and UH colleagues are hoping to find U.S. publishers interested in introductory and concluding sections of the thesis, which they say is of continuing relevance and broader general interest.

“She found hope everywhere she went and delighted in all the beauties and many layers each place provided,” Soetoro-Ng recalled.

“She believed every place, every group of people has something valuable to give. Instead of slash and burn, she would look at the plants and the crops and encourage us to see what emerges, to see the surprising and lush things that emerge from the fertile soils of the earth and the fertile soil of our minds, as we grow in the presence of one another.”

Social activism

Dunham worked as a consultant for the U.S. Agency for International Development, setting up a village credit program, and served as a Ford Foundation program officer in Jakarta, specializing in women’s work. She helped establish microfinancing networks in Pakistan, India and New York.

She joined Indonesia’s oldest bank to work on what was described as the world’s largest sustainable microfinance program to assist poor farmers and rural entrepreneurs with credit and savings projects.

While Dunham didn’t invent microfinancing, she was recognized for her keen ability to bridge the gap between peasant village workers and the financial institutions she persuaded to provide financial support.

“Ann made friends everywhere. She would come into a village and was part of the family,” Dewey recounted at the symposium. “She considered peasants just as important a people as those of high rank.”

Dunham’ fierce drive to improve the lives of those she stood shoulder to shoulder with was impressed upon her children, Dewey continued. “Ann brought Barry up in a world where it is complex and where you become appreciative of the culture that captures you.

“I think she was the hardest-working person I’ve ever met, and did it without seeming to be. If we have Barry as president and he works that hard, we’re fine.”

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  1. Liz Chock says:

    January 15th, 2009at 9:28 pm(#)

    Very interesting article! Thank you very much for sharing this info, especially right before the Presidential Inauguration!

  2. Paul Williamson says:

    January 16th, 2009at 2:45 am(#)

    What a wonderful story–I had no idea. What a marvelous mother with which the soon-to-be President Obama was blessed. With that sort of parenting, my confidence in his prospects are even greater than they were already. The connection with my own alma mater is a pleasure, as well. Thank you for that story.

  3. Jayne Johnson says:

    January 16th, 2009at 4:40 am(#)

    What a careing lady. I too feel if Barack is anything like his Mom, and I think he is, this country will be in good hands. Such a legacy Ann has left her children.

  4. Jonny Sullivan Price says:

    January 16th, 2009at 6:10 am(#)

    Thank you for this story of the accomplishments of a remarkable woman, which give us deeper insight into her remarkable son.

  5. Eugene Gauggel says:

    January 16th, 2009at 6:26 am(#)

    Very intereting to hear about people who were at U of H when I was attending in the 60′s and again in the 70′s. I went to University High school and grad in 1960. I would like to know about the contributions to U of H by my uncle Robert Clopton, in the Education department. He enabled our family to move to Hawai’i in 1954 and for me to go to University High (UHS). But I know nothing about him other than he was head of the Education Dept. for some time. He was instrumental in securing a position for my father in the music Dept. back then. My father was George William Gauggel. MAny thanks, mahalo nui loa for any info you can provide me. Eugene

  6. Carmelita says:

    January 16th, 2009at 7:28 am(#)

    This is a beautiful and revealing comment into the life and legacy of our president’s mother, the single, most important person in the formation of his life and personality. I am just now reading Barack’s autobiographical “Memories From My Father”, a tribute to the influence from his father. His mother’s influence is much deeper and all-pervasive. What an amazing woman!! How sad she had such a premature death. She is of my generation, the generation of the Peace Corps and global awareness and responsibility. I have always felt she was such an admirable role model of her generation. I look forward to knowing more about her.

  7. Amanda McConnell says:

    January 16th, 2009at 7:54 am(#)

    What an inspiring insight into Ann Dunham and the fact that
    it is the hand that rocks the cradle that influences the turn of world events. A great example of that.

  8. Bill Boyda, Class of '71 says:

    January 16th, 2009at 8:58 am(#)

    Very interesting article of Obama’s mother. So little is known about Barack, this sheds a little light on his heritage and upbringing and lets others know how he became the man he is today. His mother sounds like an extraordinarily caring person who sought to find the best in others that were struggling in life and to help them better their lives through inovation, hard work and a positive self-image. I would like to know more about her.
    Bill Boyda

  9. Geoffrey White says:

    January 16th, 2009at 10:54 am(#)

    I was glad to see the article on Ann Dunham. I think Paula Bender did a beautiful job of weaving key points about her life into a short article. We in the anthropology department, especially Ann’s former advisor Alice Dewey, have been pleased to see her career receive the acknowledgment it deserves.

    Our http://www.anthropology.hawaii.edu/News/Announcements/2008/dunham_index.html department website has an essay (with additional photos), as well as a link to the London Sunday Times story written on Ann last November.

    I’m also curious about the question of her major. We have heard it said, as in the article, that she was a math major. According to our department records, Ann Dunham majored in anthropology. We have a file of her undergrad coursework.

    And, finally, one happy update. An edited version of Ann’s dissertation will be published by Duke University Press this coming fall. Alice Dewey and Nancy Cooper in our department have done the first round of editing.

  10. Will Turner says:

    January 16th, 2009at 11:25 am(#)

    I was thinking of making a link to this article on the Ann Dunham page in Wikipedia, but I’m not sure how to do it, and, in any case, the author would probably prefer to do so. Here’s the Wikipedia page:

  11. Paula Bender says:

    January 16th, 2009at 12:21 pm(#)

    Aloha & Mahalo!

    I am deeply touched by the positive feedback. I learned while writing this story that Stanley Ann Dunham has her share of detractors as well, so I suspect they might surface here.

    My opinion is that this woman was quite a gift to our world. Her strength, even as a teenager, was quite remarkable. Her determination and resolve were admirable. Her legacy is incredible. And we all will benefit so much.

    It is hard not to be optimistic about the future with Barack Obama about to become our President. I hope the whole world is as enthusiastic about it as many of us.

    We owe Stanley Ann Dunham our gratitude for pursuing her studies, challenging ancient beliefs and traditions, and conducting her outreach that resulted in so much good.

    This assignment was a gift. Mahalo Cheryl Ernst for this assignment. And Mahalo to Maya Soetoro-Ng for your gracious input.

    Yes We Can.

  12. David Heaukulani says:

    January 16th, 2009at 12:39 pm(#)

    What a great human interest story on one of our own. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Lee Manfredi says:

    January 16th, 2009at 4:53 pm(#)

    The entire family history surrounding Barack Obama is remarkable and distinguishable. Stanley Ann Dunham was a woman ahead of her time, a “Renaissance Man”. Just a week ago, I met an entire family of five from New Delhi, India who traveled all the way to Honolulu specifically to experience Barack Obama’s life here. They asked for directions to the condo where he lived with his grandparents, Punahou School, and the shave ice stand in Moiliili; for starters. Dunham gave the world a new beginning, since the world keeps the USA in the forefront, with her courageous son and for that we are thankful and fortunate to be living the experience, ourselves.

  14. Dolly Taylor says:

    January 17th, 2009at 12:13 pm(#)

    This is a heart warming and eye opening story about a daughter, student, wife, mother, and grandmother that did things her way and taught her children well. Thank you for sharing this story.

  15. Pemerika L. Tauiliili says:

    January 17th, 2009at 5:22 pm(#)

    Thank you for showing us and the world the inside story about the person who cared for our future president. Behind every great man is a great lady. Bravo to Stanley Ann Dunham, and best wishes to President Barrack Obama. Ia manuia le nofoaiga.

  16. Noelani Wilcox says:

    January 18th, 2009at 12:46 pm(#)

    Thank you for sharing the legacy of Stanley Ann Dunham. Her son, President -elect Barack Obama has learned well to embrace diversity no matter where you are living and your place as a contributor to society. The lesson is malama kou aloha (keep the aloha).

  17. PauL Cofer says:

    January 19th, 2009at 12:49 pm(#)

    A Mother one of God’s greatest gifts returned back to Him. * If you would like to honor this very special lady please stop by and add a flower for her at




  18. Lani Kwon Meilgaard says:

    January 19th, 2009at 5:45 pm(#)

    Dear Ms. Bender,

    Thank you so much for sharing the inspiring story of President Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham. I had heard on T.V. news that she married and divorced a Kenyan and had a connection to Hawaii. We still have a long way to go to overcome sexism where women are still known primarily by their marital relationships and children and their contributions to society in other ways are ignored and overlooked. I had no idea she was a UHM alumna and an accomplished one at that!

    I am determined that this remarkable woman be remembered and have forwarded your URL story link to all family and friends on my e-list. Thank you!

    Me ke aloha pumehana, Lani

  19. Randolph Runs After says:

    January 20th, 2009at 8:00 am(#)

    Great story. I attended UH School of Public Health in 1993-95 before it was absorbed into the Medical program and it was interesting to learn that key things that would have a bearing upon the future of this country had already taken root even before that back then with Mr. Obama’s family. I got to see Barrack in New Mexico at a rally in Espanola, NM this past fall and realized it really is a small world.

  20. Rob Kay says:

    January 20th, 2009at 9:32 am(#)

    Terrific piece…great insights on Ann Dunham.

  21. Sophan Seng says:

    January 20th, 2009at 11:41 am(#)

    Inspiring story of Ann Dunham, the mother of 44th US’s president.

    From the rich cross-cultural experiences of Ann Dunham transcending to her son Barack, US will be enriched by the fundamental multicultural society and political diversity.

  22. Richard Salvador says:

    January 20th, 2009at 1:11 pm(#)

    Aloha kakou Ms. Bender and everyone:

    This is a great story. In the mid 1990s, I lived at the Punahou Circle Apartments at the corner of Beretania Street and Punahou where Barack Obama and his grandparents lived. I had just completed a MA degree at University of Hawaii and began my phd and was a struggling graduate student. On top of that, my older sister sent her son to live with me while completing his high school education at McKinley High School. Those were trying times. I only discovered later that Obama lived in the same building. But the closeness to where the US President lived (today, Jan 20, he was inaugurated) makes the experience living there all the more special and very moving as my nephew did graduate McKinley, attended college on the US continent and returned home to take over his father’s business in Belau (Palau).

    I was pleasantly surprised to learn of the accomplishments of Barack’s mother, Ann Dunham and think she is an inspiration to many of us. Mahalo for sharing her story and to those who are editing her dissertation into book manuscript. I’d like to read it when it gets published.

    Mahalo again and best wishes.

    Richard Salvador

  23. Richard Williams says:

    January 20th, 2009at 3:20 pm(#)

    If she was so “loving and caring,” why didn’t she raise her kids? How did Toots wind up raising HER kids? She might have been a great academic, but sounds to me like she was more interested in shacking up with different guys and pursuing her own agenda rather than putting her family first.

  24. Katherine Latham says:

    January 20th, 2009at 5:05 pm(#)

    Paula Bender suspected that Stanley Ann Dunham’s detractors, such as Richard Williams, would surface here. However, his remarks only serve to emphasize rather than undermine the true character of Obama’s mother, whom by example, imparted to her children the drive to improve the lives of others, including that of her only son.
    Mahalo nui loa for her spirit that lives on through her children!

  25. Christine Walters says:

    January 20th, 2009at 7:39 pm(#)

    Wonderful… just wonderful. Thank you for sharing such an inspiring story.

  26. Teguh Santosa says:

    January 21st, 2009at 1:54 am(#)

    Part of Stanley Ann Dunham’s dissertation has been printed and published in Indonesian language. Soon it will be available in UHM Hamilton library. Now were are working on to publish the whole dissertation as a book in Indonesian language.

  27. Wednesday Round Up #47 « Neuroanthropology says:

    January 21st, 2009at 3:28 am(#)

    [...] Bender, Legacy of the President’s Mother A profile of Stanley Ann Dunham, an anthropologist, from her alma mater, University of Hawaii at [...]

  28. Jacky Jaeger says:

    January 21st, 2009at 7:22 am(#)

    Hi Paula,

    Read your article on my classroom computer today. I printed it and look forward to sharing parts of it with my second grade class as a follow-up to yesterday’s innauguration topic. I am curious about Barack’s father, can’t find out what happened to him, except for an article about Barack visiting the grave site in Kenya.
    Thanks for an interesting piece of history!

  29. Margo Mansfield says:

    January 21st, 2009at 8:51 am(#)

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is a wonderful story of many virtues: the blessings of Motherhood, the immortal imprinting of charity, the importance of making each day count under all conditions, and the gifts of love and hope.

    I knew of President Obama’s extraordinary character when I read “The Audacity of Hope” and to see the linkage of his character to that of his Mother gives me even greater willingness in my own life to drop my own “childish ways” and come into the fold of my millions of countrywomen and men to bring our amazing country back to the greatness of it’s heritage.

    The University of Hawaii is my alma mater, too. I will always be greatful for what, to me, were uncommon and wonderfully growing experiences that I, from Missouri, gained during those formative days of my life. I attended the University from 1964 to 1969, graduating in 1968. I saw the blossoming of the East-West Center and the entry of the first Black atheletes coming to the UH. I entered into the consciousness of the Civil Rights movement during my time at the UH remembering the African American Studies classes and the tribute to Martin Luther King and Malcomn X at the amphitheater. The culturally open atmosphere of the University spawned a learning and love for people of all cultures and, in particular, my new Black friends that lives in me today. I suspect that I never could have had these rich experiences in my life anyplace other than the UH at that time in history.

    The events of the inauguation for the past 3 days has been very emotional for me as I reflect on my life and friends in Hawaii, recognize the beauty of Hawaii in our new President and, now, come to know the history of the gracious and loving Mother of President Obama. I am grateful to the “aloha spirit” of Hawaii for so much of what we are now celebrating during this historic event of our new president. Thank you, again.

  30. Alicia Kalahiki says:

    January 21st, 2009at 9:21 pm(#)

    Such an inspirational story of an extra ordinary women, the legacy she has left to her children. President Obama Maya Soetoro-Ng and granddaughters Malia, Sasha and Mayas daughter. I myself am a single parent encouraged by my three children to take back my life as a Native Hawaiian. Have gone back to college as a part-time student since 2002 as a Liberal Arts and eventually I hope to graduate with my BA in Hawaiian Studies/Hawaiian Language. A gift back to my own children

  31. Lorraine Smith says:

    January 22nd, 2009at 1:02 pm(#)

    Thank you for the wonderful article. I didn’t know that President Obama’s mother had fulfilled the requirements for a PhD. Did she actually get the degree conferred? I couldn’t tell from the article. I also found it interesting that I was at UT during the period Barack was in high school at Punahou. I may have attended school with his mother! ..what a small world. I hadn’t actually put the dates together until now. Thanks again.

  32. Malamalama Editor says:

    January 23rd, 2009at 8:52 am(#)

    Yes, Lorraine, Ann Dunham received her PhD. Her name appears in the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa Summer Commencement program, Aug. 9, 1992.

  33. Bill Mashburn, UH '59, '61 says:

    January 24th, 2009at 4:59 am(#)

    While pursuing a graduate degree at UH, I lived in a single room on Anapuni Street in Makiki, not far from where Barack Obama’s grandmother lived. I sometimes took a shortcut walk through the Punahou School campus to get to the UH campus (I don’t think one can do that anymore). Little did I realize that a future US president would be living and studying in such close proximity.

    Thank you for the enlightening article about President Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham.

  34. DS says:

    January 24th, 2009at 9:51 am(#)

    A beautiful story and tribute to an inspiring woman and wonderful mother. There are always naysayers who see the negative in everything as per Richard Williams above and have to reduce everything to a cliché and make stupid judgmental comments but they are obviously in the minority. Thank you for a great article, I loved it.

  35. cliff jone says:

    January 25th, 2009at 6:50 pm(#)

    Where have I seen this woman before? Maybe its just the look of that era.

  36. Legacy of the President Obama’s Mother at Tadias Magazine says:

    January 26th, 2009at 12:27 pm(#)

    [...] Malamalama: The magazine of the University of Hawaiʻi [...]

  37. Cindy Blankenship says:

    January 26th, 2009at 4:10 pm(#)

    Wonderful article! I knew our president’s tutu had passed on to him values like ohana and work ethics, but I knew nothing of his mother. Now we see even more clearly that Obama’s interest in human rights and his empathetic leadership is very real and very much part of his heritage traced directly to his mama. Thanks for the insights!

  38. Marlene Spencer says:

    January 26th, 2009at 8:45 pm(#)

    Thank you for clarifying Stanley Ann Dunham’s history with Hawaii and Indonesia. Does the national press have any idea of how fortunate we are as a country to have a President who’s mother was an anthropologist? For Obama to have lived in Hawaii and Indonesia, in two cultures known for diversity, bodes well for improvements in the US relations internationally and within our country. I’ve heard some discussions among news commentators about whether Obama was “raised white” or “African American”. WE know he was raised in the spirit of Hawaii!

  39. Jules @ The Francophile Files says:

    January 27th, 2009at 12:28 pm(#)

    Wonderful tribute to and history of our 44th President’s mother. Mahalo.

  40. The University of Hawaii and The Legacy of a President’s Mother « Just Americans Making Ethical Statements Weblog says:

    January 27th, 2009at 1:46 pm(#)

    [...] Legacy of the President’s Mother January 14th, 2009

  41. Kevin Gagan says:

    January 29th, 2009at 7:56 am(#)

    Obama’s mother deserted him as a child.

    -Some “mom”; some example.

    Next, you’ll be putting something together on what a great “dad” he had.

  42. Robert Young says:

    January 29th, 2009at 3:50 pm(#)

    Too bad he didn’t go to Io’lani, maybe he could made something of himself.

  43. Bello Kombako says:

    February 1st, 2009at 2:07 am(#)

    Obama’s mother was someone who believed in change, thanks to the wave of optimism and faith of those 60s era, which reminds me of Rebecca Walker’s wonderful book “Black, White and Jewish”. There were men and women whose love of humanity is played in the way they lived their lives. Stanley Ann Dunham epitomized such a fine group of people. While working towards my MA thesis at UH Manoa in 2004 I first heard of Barack Obama just before I left the beautiful shores of Honolulu and return home to Papua New Guinea. Looking back now, I now feel I am part of a great ohana. Thanks to American voters for electing someone who belongs to the whole world, just as he belongs to the U.S.

  44. Owen Wrigley says:

    February 4th, 2009at 9:14 am(#)

    Ann Soetoro is listed in the East-West Center directory of grantees in 1976-77 (with her photo on the same page as mine), but I never see any of the stories mention her involvement with the EWC.

    I was a young new grantee and she was already a legend among the “senior” grantees. I just find it odd that this interesting chapter of her work and presence on campus is never mentioned?

  45. Ardith Miller Betts says:

    February 9th, 2009at 3:20 pm(#)

    In regard to Ann Soetoro’s “desertion” of Barak and his return to Hawaii to attend Punahou School, I can only say that having lived in Jakarta during the years when Barak was a child there and observed the quality of education available in the schools at that time, sending him home to her parents to attend a highly reputed private school hardly seems like desertion. I’m sure it was a hard decision for her, but in the end it contributed to the development of a man we have just elected President of the United States. If decisions are weighed by their outcome, this was an excellent one.

    Thank you for the excellent and interesting article.

    Ardith Miller Betts
    UH ’63

  46. Scott says:

    March 1st, 2009at 2:08 pm(#)

    Incredible to think that this remarkable woman’s legacy now shapes the mind and character of our president.

  47. Corey Roswell says:

    March 14th, 2009at 12:12 am(#)

    Interesing. When can we expect a profile of two other University of Hawaii alumni, Barack Obama, Sr. (Class of 1962) and Lolo Soetoro (Class of 1966)

  48. Duke U. Press to publish book by Obama’s mother says:

    May 4th, 2009at 12:08 pm(#)

    [...] completed “Surviving Against the Odds: Village Industry in Indonesia,”  for the University of Hawaii in 1992, after a frequently interrupted span of 14 years. The thesis focuses Javanese craftsmen in the [...]

  49. Cheryl Ernst says:

    September 22nd, 2009at 1:35 pm(#)

    Mālamalama just received an advance copy of Surviving against the Odds: Village Industry in Indonesia. The published version of S. Ann Dunham’s dissertation will be out in December, according to the Duke University Press news release.

  50. Chronicle Blogs – Duke U. Press to publish book by Obama’s mother says:

    October 5th, 2009at 5:03 pm(#)

    [...] completed “Surviving Against the Odds: Village Industry in Indonesia,”  for the University of Hawaii in 1992, after a frequently interrupted span of 14 years. The thesis focuses Javanese craftsmen in the [...]

  51. Kathy Aldinger says:

    December 30th, 2009at 10:08 am(#)

    Mahalo for this article and all of the referenced websites and updates regarding publication of S. Ann Dunham’s dissertation. I am a transfer student that will be attending UHM Spring 2010. I am so proud and excited to gain my education from a school that has this strong connection with our 44th President Barack Obama!

    I hope that there will be future programs of this sort that I can attend as a proud new UHM student!!!

    Kathy Aldinger

  52. Vivian Norris de Montaigu says:

    March 22nd, 2010at 12:09 am(#)

    We, Vivian Norris de Montaigu and Gloria Origgi, are making a documentary on Obama’s Mother…Please visit our Facebook page and read some of my articles on Ann Dunham, her work in Microcredit etc: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vivian-norris-de-montaigu

    Become a Facebook friend: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=100000724384865

  53. Vivian Norris de Montaigu says:

    March 22nd, 2010at 12:27 am(#)

    Follow the Ann Dunham doc on Twitter: vigilantevnm

  54. Harley Marshall says:

    April 28th, 2010at 2:21 am(#)

    Barack Obama is the best democrat president in my opinion. he makes the best judgment and foreign policies.. *

  55. Brandon says:

    July 30th, 2010at 12:25 pm(#)

    What an amazing story. I feel like my childhood is so boring now. Such a dynamic family. I think this definitely helps to understand our president a bit more understanding his mother. I appreciate the write up. It makes me want to get a bit more involved and to show my children more.

  56. Bettye Parker says:

    September 5th, 2011at 7:12 am(#)

    A true gift to our World.

  57. Beth H says:

    October 29th, 2011at 6:18 pm(#)

    My daughter spent her residency in Kenya and storys were abound of his father.