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|T.J. Brown, a May graduate of Centre College, and Dead Fred, a Centre alumnus who died in 1953, will be traveling the world for the next year. The duo left Dallas, T.J.s hometown, to travel throughout Europe June 11-July 15. In the following journal, T.J. chronicles his travels with Dead Fred. Some highlights include running with the bulls in Spain, seeing a stage of the Tour de France, and touring the Vatican. |
T.J. and Dead Fred are fraternity brothers, although their pledge classes are several years apart.
Explanation (for those of you not yet familiar with Dead Fred): Fred "Dead Fred" Vinson, who graduated from Centre in 1909 and from the Colleges Law School in 1911, served as the chief justice of the United States from 1946 until his death in 1953. But Vinsons legacy lives on as a tradition has developed to take his portrait, affectionately known as Dead Fred, to campus eventsand now across the globe.
As legend has it, shortly after his death in 1953, members of the chapter of Phi Delta Thetaof which Vinson was a memberwere sitting around the fraternity house just prior to a football game at Centre. They were talking and the subject of Vinson, their recently deceased fraternity brother, came up.
Someone said, Isnt it too bad that Fred wont be going to any more Centre football games?
Another Phi Delt responded, Why dont we take him? He then removed a portrait of Vinson from the mantle, and they carried it to the football game where it sat in the stands with a prime viewing location. This ritual immediately became a campus tradition, and Fred Vinson has attended every Centre home football game since his death.
But Vinson does more than attend his beloved Centre sporting events (where a tear is sometimes said to appear in his eyes after a tough Centre loss). He also attended the 2000 vice presidential debate held on Centres campus between Vice President Dick Cheney and Sen. Joseph Lieberman. Most recently, he served as an honorary judge when the Declaration of Independence Road Tripwhere a rare original copy of the Declaration was showcasedcame to campus last year.
T.J. and Fred will be traveling together throughout the next year, so watch for more of their adventures.
Click on the links to the right to read their stories.
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