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American University’s Long Tradition of Presidential Engagement

Barry Kornfeld

A graduate of American University (AU) in Washington, DC, financial advisor Barry M. Kornfeld heads First Financial Tax Group in Boca Raton, Florida. He offers clients a portfolio of alternative income options, including co-lending opportunities that produce an annual yield of at least 6 percent, payable monthly. Barry Kornfeld also remains committed to supporting his alma mater, which since its charter in 1893 has stood for meaningful engagement with the world.

Chartered by the US Congress in an act signed by President Benjamin Harrison, AU is based on President George Washington’s desire to establish a national institution of higher learning. Founder of AU, John Fletcher Hurst, had traveled and studied widely outside the United States, and worked to make President Washington’s dream a reality.
Hurst sited his university just a few miles northwest of the White House, on land once occupied by Fort Gaines, a Union stronghold during the Civil War. At the turn of the 20th century, President William McKinley served as a trustee of the university. After President McKinley’s assassination in 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt helped to lay the cornerstone of a building named in his late predecessor’s honor. That occasion was the first time an American president had visited the university.
In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson spoke at AU’s opening ceremonies. President Dwight D. Eisenhower broke ground for the construction of AU’s School of International Service in 1957, and President John F. Kennedy gave the 1963 commencement address. In 2008 President Kennedy’s brother Senator Ted Kennedy gave the future President Barack Obama his endorsement during an AU event.

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