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Brad Pitt is by far the University of Missouri’s most famous alumnus, both because he is one of the most recognizable actors ever, and because the University of Missouri has a loose definition of “alumnus.” The truth is, Brad Pitt, a Sigma Chi during his years in school, didn’t actually graduate from Mizzou. He finished two credit hours short of earning a degree in journalism. With a mere two weeks left in school, Pitt decided he was bored, presumably because he had already had his way with every single sorority girl in Greek Town, or maybe a psychic showed him his future and he booked it to L.A. as fast as he could. Regardless, it’s hard to blame him, considering the way things turned out. According to Pitt, in a 2011 interview with NPR, “I knew where I wanted to go. I had a direction. I always liked those moments of epiphany, when you have the next destination.”
Despite what Pitt would have you believe, it may not have simply been fate that drove him towards Los Angeles. Pitt himself even admits in the same interview that a regular future seemed a little daunting.
“It just came to the time of graduation and everyone — all my friends were committing to jobs — and I just realized I was not ready for that yet. …I packed up my car. I didn’t graduate — I had two weeks left — and I moved out to L.A.”
So Pitt wasn’t exactly excited to graduate. Hey, who is? There’s a reason I went five years, and that reason was totally my choosing and not because I spent a few too many semesters sleeping off hangovers at home instead of in the back of the auditorium, like a good student. Still, even if Pitt wanted to move to L.A., why not just wait the two weeks? I mean, it’s two weeks, that’s not that long. He’d be spending it in a college town! He would have been surrounded by friends and gorgeous girls. That doesn’t sound all that terrible, even if he did want to leave. It’s not like he was spending two extra weeks in prison, it’s more like he would have had to ride one more roller coaster at the amusement park. Big deal, Brad.
Perhaps Brad Pitt left early not because he couldn’t wait to follow his dreams, but because he knew he wasn’t going to graduate that May anyway. A story from the September 7th, 2001 issue of Mizzou’s student newspaper, The Maneater, may confirm this theory.
Henry Hager, professor emeritus of journalism, taught Pitt more than 15 years ago. He said he remembers him as a nice guy.
Hager said he has heard many different stories about why Pitt dropped out, but he thinks it was because of problems Pitt had with an advertising class, Journalism 336.
So maybe Brad Pitt was having some academic trouble. Isn’t quite the story of epiphanies and unicorns he’d have you believe. So what was Pitt having trouble with in his advertising class? Did he bomb a midterm? Miss too many classes?
Hager said Pitt asked him to look at a special project Pitt did for the class: a “hunk calendar” featuring male students.
What the fucking fuck? You’ve got to be kidding me.
“He wanted my professional estimate on (the calendar),” he said. “I think he might have been trying to use that with the professor. He told me that she thought he had done the work too fast.”
Brad Pitt left Mizzou two weeks before graduating because he did a bad job making a sexy man calendar. File that right next to Norfolk State and the second half of the 2007 Big 12 Championship Game in my “Disappointing Mizzou Facts Warehouse.” Yeah, there are a lot, a warehouse is necessary.
There are so many hilarious things about this, but one of the best has to be the almost certain fact that Brad Pitt, at some Sigma Chi chapter meeting on warm spring Monday in the ’80s, asked for volunteers for his “hunk calendar.”
Goddammit, Brad Pitt. (sigh) M-I-Z.