- College assignments graded by Elon Musk more than 25 years ago just sold for $7,753 at auction.
- Musk was a teaching assistant at the time at UPenn’s Wharton School of Business.
- He initialed and marked the papers, commenting “graphic” and deducting points for profanity on one.
A former UPenn student just sold some of his college assignments at auction for a few thousand dollars, but it wasn’t because of the content of the papers. Instead, the cool sum owes in large part to the person who graded the papers: Elon Musk.
The student, Brian Thomas, had dug up the papers from a course called “Entrepreneurship: Implementation and Operations” that was taught at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business in 1995, according to RR Auction, which sold the papers. Musk was a teaching assistant for the class.
Thomas’ auctioned documents from the course sold for $7,753. This includes the buyer’s premium RR Auction receives for the sale.
The first document, an exam booklet with nine pages filled out, bears Musk’s initials on the front cover and some light markings throughout the rest of the exam. For one answer, Thomas defined an exit strategy in part as “a viable way to end operations if shit hits the fan.” Musk underlined the latter phrase, wrote that it was “graphic,” and deducted two points for the profanity.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO checked off key points in the second paper included in the auction, a case study on a mail-order specialty gardening tool idea, but didn’t leave comments. He also wrote his initials and Thomas’ score on the front of this document.
The papers come with the course syllabus listing Musk as a teaching assistant and a letter from Thomas, in which he describes Musk as “a tough grader.” Thomas also wrote in the letter that he kept the papers as souvenirs out of his “esteem” for late professor Myles Bass, who taught the course. He added that he was surprised when he stumbled upon his notebook from the class this year and found the exam booklet, paper, and syllabus inside.
Thomas told CNN, which previously reported the sale, that he has no specific memories of Musk from the course, saying, “I cannot conjure an image of him being in the class.”
You can view the papers, complete with Musk’s annotations, here.