Meet the Founder of Reading Period, Joan Reading

By JACOB BASKES May 15, 2017

At the end of each semester, college students across the country have a vacation known as Reading Period. As it turns out, this tradition, formerly known as “drinking period,” is named in memory of the famed Joan Reading.

cdm_87919Reading was a prominent leader of the drinking culture when she attended the University of Chicago in the 1920’s. It was known throughout the Midwest that she could do a keg stand for 13 minutes before deriving the Lorentz Transformation Equation upside down with one hand tied behind her back. It is no secret either, that her best “disc” time is still the national record, at 16.31 seconds.

Joan was known to make the most of the four-day period that followed the last day of classes, and University of Chicago records show that even in her first year at the University, she downed an average of 17 beers per day throughout the long weekend. In her honor, the University titled the stage between classes and finals, “Reading Period,” and the name has since spread to other institutions of higher education around the country.

Let’s make sure we honor Joan this Reading Period!



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