At 68-years-old, Jerry Reid might be the last person you'd expect to see as a University of Virginia undergraduate and fraternity member.
Reid decided during a business trip in 2009 to go back to school at U.Va., the Times reports. He'd spent time partying on campus in the '60s and once covered the school as a sports reporter for the Richmond Times Dispatch.
The Cavalier Daily reports that Reid initially enrolled in the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies program, essentially the university's night college for non-traditional students. Reid told the Daily that he hopes eventually to obtain a graduate degree in creative writing and teach, after a career that has included racing automobiles, working in video production and publishing a magazine.
Reid told The New York Times that the only conditions his wife, Susan, gave him on going to U.Va. were that she would not live in a dorm and that Reid was not allowed to join a frat -- he obviously didn't comply with the latter. (Nearly 50 years ago, in 1966, Reid met his wife at a Chi Phi frat party, the same Greek house where he's now a brother, the Daily Progress reports.)
But he's managed to avoid being pigeonholed as a real-life Thornton Melton or Blue Palasky, the elderly fraternity member in the film "Old School."
"They tried to put me in Blue Palasky's shoes, and I've said that's absolutely a falsehood," Reid said to the Times. "Blue Palasky sits around and sucks down brew and tries to be a part of a fraternity, and he doesn’t really get it done. I have become fully engaged. I am a brother eternal of all of the young men in Chi Phi."
Not only did Reid join Chi Phi, he's also in the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society and can be seen around campus in a blazer and bow tie giving people fist bumps. He also campaigned to join the University Judiciary Committee, WVIR reports, and can frequently be seen in the student section at the Cavaliers' NCAA games, and isn't afraid to storm the court.
"His willingness to put himself out there as an undergraduate is worthy of deserving respect," Marie Connor, vice president of the Jefferson Society, told the Daily Progress. "I don't think Mr. Reid would ever let himself not fit in with the society. He's far too stubborn in his pursuit of the traditional U.Va. experience to let that get in the way."
The Cavalier Daily reports Reid hopes to bring back Corks & Curls, U.Va.'s now-defunct yearbook, and that he plans to write a novel about being a Wahoo.
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