|Born||Benjamin Bradley Bolger
Flint, Michigan, United States
|Alma mater||University of Michigan (BA)
University of Oxford (MSc)
University of Cambridge (MPhil)
Stanford University (MA)
Columbia University (MA, MS)
Harvard University (MDes, DDes)
Brown University (MA)
Dartmouth College (MA)
Brandeis University (MA)
Skidmore College (MA)
Benjamin Bradley Bolger (born 1975) is a perpetual student who claims to be the second most credentialed person in modern history after Michael W. Nicholson, who has 27 degrees. Like Nicholson, Bolger hails from Michigan. Bolger is a visiting assistant professor in sociology at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Bolger was born to Donald Bolger, an engineer with General Motors, and Loretta, a teacher. At the age of two, his family was involved in a near-fatal car accident caused by a drunk driver; Bolger says this encouraged him to make the most out of his life. In first grade, he was diagnosed with dyslexia. Special education programs did not help him, and in fourth grade, his mother began home-schooling Bolger, while undergoing a divorce. At the age of 12, Bolger began taking classes at Muskegon Community College, graduating with an A.A. by the age of 17. He then transferred with those credits to the University of Michigan, majored in sociology and graduated summa cum laude with a 4.0 grade point average in sociology. From there, he took an internship with the Clinton Administration with Press Secretary Mike McCurry. Bolger's mother moved with him to each college and university he attended and read his assignments to him aloud. His mother, however, received none of the accolades Bolger now enjoys.
At the age of 20, he entered Yale Law School, but dropped out when he was unable to compensate for his dyslexia. After receiving additional training on his dyslexia, he enrolled at Oxford University, thus beginning his quest for degrees. After accumulating many masters degrees, he received his first doctorate at the age of 33 in Design from Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2008. Six additional masters degrees or doctorates are in the process of completion. His mother accompanied him through much of his education to help with his work, from Ann Arbor to Oxford. In addition to studying, Bolger was a teaching fellow at Harvard and adjuncts for the online for-profit school the University of Phoenix.
The Harvard Crimson's profile of Bolger addresses his "flair for the dramatic," well-rehearsed self-presentation, and his political ambitions, for example:
But the way he tells the story suggests a particular flair for the dramatic—like his story is the first half of the inevitable movie script. In the personal information section of his flashy website, he writes, “When I was twelve years old, I began college,” referring to the supplemental work he did at Muskegon... Bolger says he has always wanted to teach, but also has a “long-standing interest in public service.” Public service, he implies, can be read as the White House. “I would love to be governor of Michigan. I wouldn’t want to move on to anything bigger unless I knew I could make a difference.
Bolger also runs a "boutique academic consulting" business named "Bolger Strategic" in which he charges between $500 and $7,500 to assist prospective graduate students apply to graduate school.
- 1992 — Muskegon Community College - Associate of Arts
- 1994 — University of Michigan - Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
- 1997 — University of Oxford - Master of Science in Sociology
- 1998 — University of Cambridge - Master of Philosophy in Sociology and Politics of Modern Society
- 2000 — Stanford University - Master of Arts in Education
- 2001 — Teachers College, Columbia University - Master of Arts in Politics of Education
- 2002 — Columbia University - Master of Science in Real Estate Development
- 2002 — Harvard University - Master of Design in Urban Planning and Real Estate
- 2004 — Brown University - Master of Arts in Developmental Studies
- 2004 — Dartmouth College - Master of Arts in Liberal Arts
- 2007 — Brandeis University - Master of Arts in Coexistence and Conflict
- 2007 — Skidmore College - Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
- 2008 — Harvard University - Doctor of Design in Urban Planning and Real Estate
- 2014 — Ashland University - Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
- "Michigan Pride Forum". Mlive.com. 2008-08-08. Retrieved 2012-06-19.
- Tess McEnroe. "Twenty-seven degrees and counting: Kalamazoo man enjoys the 'freedom' of intellectual pursuits". Kalamazoo Gazette. MLive.com. Retrieved 2012-06-19.
- The Harvard Crimson :: Magazine :: Battle of the Bolger
- [dead link]
- A Perpetual Student Pursues Education to the Nth Degree - Chronicle.com
- William & Mary - News & Events
- Brittany Group. "Benjamin B. Bolger: projects". Bolgerstrategic.com. Retrieved 2012-06-19.
- A Dartmouth Pedagogy. MALS Quarterly. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
- I call BS. Skeptic Friends Network. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
- Battle of the Bolger. The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
- Ashland University Official Website
- USNews:12 Graduate Degrees and Counting:One Student's Yearning for Learning