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Apparently unsatisfied with such alumni as Presidents Ford, Bush, Clinton and Bush, Secretary of State Clinton, several Supreme Court justices and senators, and holographic doctor Robert Picardo, Yale University has laid claim to one more distinguished graduate: billionaire playboy-philanthropist Bruce Wayne.
To make the case for the (secretly) Dark Knight as a Yalie, the Yale Alumni Magazine turned to author, designer and Batman devotee Chip Kidd, who turned to … the 1960s Batman television series. Specifically Episode 33, in which Aunt Harriet reveals that Bruce’s grandfather actually founded the secret society Skull and Bones.
“This is a rather neat conceit when you think about it,” Kidd writes in the magazine’s March/April issue. “The implication is that it’s in the nature of the Wayne men to create a unique identity for themselves that is both public and yet fiercely private. For what is ‘Batman and Robin’ but the ultimate secret society, with only two members?”
Still, he concedes, “for true Bat-geeks, this evidence of Batman’s connection with Yale is largely meaningless” — in short because it’s from the frequently maligned TV series, and not from the comics. But! There’s another tiny detail from the comic books that seems to support the Yale connection: a panel in Detective Comics #439 that includes a framed diploma from Yale Law School.
Mystery solved? It seems so. To verify Bruce’s enrollment, the magazine tracked down artist Sal Amendola, who drew the story in question, “Night of the Stalker”:
Sal explained, first, why he gave a law degree to a superhero who operates outside the law: “I always thought of him as a dual personality. As Bruce Wayne he is a bleeding-heart liberal do-gooder, and as Batman he is a vigilante conservative.” And both are “so determined to right wrongs and end injustice.”
And why Yale? Sal said he’d been living in Connecticut at the time, and he had visited New Haven. “I thought Yale was a place someone like that would want to go,” he said. “He wanted to develop himself as much as possible, physically and mentally. It just all seemed to be logical.”
The question remains, then, if Bruce attended Yale, why did Dick Grayson end up going to crappy ol’ Gotham U? Solve that mystery, Mr. Kidd!