Phil Boerner

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Boermer (right), in the apartment he shared with Obama. Inset: Boermer today

Phil Boerner CC '84 was Barack Obama's roommate during the Fall of 1981. Both students transferred to Columbia from Occidental College, and lived together in a third-story walkup on 109th St. between Amsterdam Avenue and Columbus. They also hung out at Tom's, the West End, and in New York's bookstores and museums. After their first semester at Columbia, Obama was only able to find another apartment with room for one. He continued to hang out with Boerner, watching and talking sports, until 1985, after which time they exchanged letters. Boerner now lives in California, where he is communications director for a veterinary association.

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