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Bob Dylan and Philip Roth Were Frat Brothers?

Apparently…same house, different chapters

Adam Chandler
November 26, 2012

I get a lot of weird press releases and e-mails. But today, my mind was blown. Along came word about the birthday of the Jewish fraternity Sigma Alpha Mu, better known as Sammy, also known at many schools as “those guys.”

Perversely curious, I hopped on Wikipedia to take a look at their notable members and found something that stunned me. The Jewish fraternity that sustained the expected likes of NBA Commish David Stern, Steve Wynn, and Michael Milken, had also given bro-rise to Philip Roth and Bob Dylan.

Dylan, before flunking out, apparently pledged the Sammy house at the University of Minnesota. He lived in the frat house on 5th Street and performed at local coffee shops.

Philip Roth, had a more illustrious college experience at Bucknell, where in addition to being one of “those guys,” Roth was a member of Cap and Dagger, the Bucknell drama club.

I can only imagine what it would have been like to be hazed by Roth.

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.