Will Ferrell is an Emmy-nominated comedian, actor and producer who is best known for being a cast member of ‘Saturday Night Live’ and comedy films such as ‘The Producers’ and ‘Stranger than Fiction.’ It is widely known that prior to becoming an acclaimed comedy star, Ferrell studied at the University of California. But what fraternity was the young Will Ferrell in?
While studying sports broadcasting at the University of California, Will Ferrell was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. Yet despite the fact that he is a notable fraternity alumni, Ferrell has, as a grown-up, spoken out against fraternities and their culture of fostering cliques and exclusion.
Read more about the fraternity Will Ferrell was in when he was a student, and why his opinion on fraternities has changed so drastically.
Will Ferrell was born and raised in Irvine, California, where he attended school and started becoming interested in comedy, when he realized how easily he could make his classmates laugh.
Ferrell wanted to attend university in California instead of moving cross-country to study, which is why he enrolled at the University of California.
In a bid to pursue his interest in sports, he decided to study sports broadcasting.
And while at university, Ferrell also decided to join a fraternity and thus became member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity.
Delta Tau Delta, also known under its abbreviation ‘DTD’, was founded in 1958 at Bethany College in Virginia and is a nationwide fraternity with 140 chapters.
While being a fraternity boy, Ferrell and his fraternity brothers were known for executing a number of pranks on fellow students. For example, Ferrell would dress in a janitor’s outfit and stroll into his friends’ classes, or streak around campus.
And while Ferrell did admit in interviews to not particularly enjoying the subject he was studying, he did say he very much enjoyed being a fraternity brother.
After graduating and therefore leaving his fraternity, Ferrell moved to Los Angeles to follow his interest in comedy and acting. He successfully joined a local comedy group called ‘The Grouplings’ and shortly after that became a very successful member of ‘Saturday Night Live.’
Second Thoughts on Fraternities
Despite having said that he enjoyed his time at the Delta Tau Delta fraternity, Ferrell came out in 2015 and publicly criticized fraternities in an interview with the New York Times.
Ferrell’s criticism came after it was revealed that members of the fraternity ‘Sigma Alpha Epsilon’ had publicly engaged in racist and sexist behaviour, which sparked a public debate about the history of racism of the ‘Greek life’ on college campuses.
Asked about this particular incident, Ferrell said: ‘The incident in Oklahoma, that is a real argument for getting rid of the system altogether, in my opinion, even having been through a fraternity.’
Elaborating on his point, Ferrell explained that in his opinion, fraternities only serve to create a culture of exclusivity and exclusion on college campuses: ‘Because when you break it down, it really is about creating cliques and clubs and being exclusionary.’
He did however concede that his personal experience at his fraternity was positive and purely centered on the establishment of fraternal bonds with fellow students.
He explained: ‘I was lucky in that the one I was in, we were really kind of the anti-fraternity fraternity. We were considered good enough to get the exchanges with the good sororities. […] But we didn’t take it too seriously. It was just about having fun.’
This shows that Will Ferrell did in fact seem to have had a great experience being a fraternity boy at Delta Tau Delta. Still, as per his own advice, it is good to remain cautious of the role of fraternities on US college campuses today.