The Huffington Post published a copy of Rick Perry’s college transcript today — and it's fair to say the governor barely made the grade.
Perry originally attended Texas A&M University to pursue a pre-veterinary major but switched to animal sciences, reportedly because of his low GPA. In his freshman and sophomore year, Perry struggled with core science classes, earning D’s in several organic chemistry classes and C’s in general chemistry and physics.
But after Perry switched his major at the beginning of his fall semester in 1970, his grades didn’t improve. Perry got a C in Reproduction in Farm Animals, a C in genetics, a D in Feeds & Feeding, a C in Sheep & Angora Goat Production and two C’s in animal breeding classes.
Many of Perry’s other classes involved military education. Perry has previously credited his time in the A&M Corps of Cadets with giving him the necessary discipline to complete school.
Perry got two C’s in Development of Air Power and took four levels of World Military Systems, earning two C’s, a B and an A. The A was one of only two Perry earned at college — the other was for a class called Improv. of Learning.
The future governor only took one political science class while he was in school — American National Government, for which he earned a B. Other classes outside of Perry’s major included Shakespeare and Writing for Professional Men, which earned him two D’s.
Perry took two summer sessions before his senior year but still needed two more after the rest of his class graduated to complete a degree. He graduated in August of 1972.
If Perry runs for the White House, he won't be the first aspirant to the office to have made less than stellar grades. As Talking Points Memo notes, John Kerry, George W. Bush and Al Gore all had C averages — Kerry and Bush at Yale, Gore at Harvard.
But a former classmate of Perry’s told The Huffington Post that even at A&M, Perry didn’t have a reputation for scholastic aptitude.
“A&M wasn't exactly Harvard on the Brazos River,” he said. "This was not the brightest guy around. We always kind of laughed. He was always kind of a joke."
In a 1989 interview with the Abilene Reporter-News, Perry talked about his academic struggle at A&M being a key reason he got into politics.
“I obviously wasn’t going to do it academically. I wasn’t going to do it athletically,” he said. (Perry got B’s and C’s in his required physical education classes.) “But politics requires people skills, which was something I had."
In his defense, various extracurricular activities took up a fair amount of Perry’s time at school. He was elected a "yell leader," a highly sought-after role that at A&M is akin to a male cheerleader.