Southern Frat: The 1979 “Are You a Preppie?” Poster

Ivy-Style has just learned from a top-notch (and top drawer) source, who will be the subject of our next post, the identity of the creator of the late ’70s dorm-room poster “Are You a Preppie?”

Long before he went on to helm such films as “Patch Adams,” “Ace Ventura” and “Liar, Liar,” Tom Shadyac created the above poster as a fundraising effort for his fraternity while studying at the University of Virginia.

Subsequent research revealed this isn’t exactly news to the rest of the world, but the poster creator’s identity was news to me and probably a few others in Tradsville.

The poster is an important touchstone in preppy history as it falls between Nelson Aldrich’s Atlantic Monthly cover story and “The Official Preppy Handbook.”

The model for the poster was Shadyac’s fraternity brother Stephen Tunnell. To see what he looks like now, click here.

So much for preppies never changing. — CC

11 Comments on "Southern Frat: The 1979 “Are You a Preppie?” Poster"

  1. Ha, my boss just walked by and recognized this poster immediately. Apparently he was at UVA a year behind this Shadyac character.

  2. Added you to our blogroll hope you’ll consider adding us to yours! Can’t wait for the new Preppy Handbook in Sept!


  3. Dutch Uncle | April 23, 2010 at 8:47 pm |

    Can’t quite figure out why this guy doesn’t really look Preppie in spite of the garb:

    Is it the greasy, too-long hair?

    Is it the oversized eyeglass frames?
    They seem to be a disorted version of the classic Anglo American 406.

  4. I have always enjoyed this poster. I look forward to the next post.

    Always Bumby

  5. I think I saw this guy at the ‘Vous in College Park. He owes me $5 and some Little Tavern Burgers.

  6. kinda the ‘aesthete prep’ species.

  7. Elaine Miceli | March 29, 2012 at 1:05 pm |

    I had a similar version of this, with as girl dressed in pink…where can I find it?

  8. “Monitary?”

    I had to read that two or three times.

  9. Having read this I thought it was extremely informative. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this article together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!
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  10. Actually, that is not Steven Tunnell. It’s his brother, Spencer Tunnell.

  11. I actually have in my possession several of “are you a preppie” & “are you a preppette” jigsaw puzzles. Brand new still in the wrapper. If anyone is interested please email my wife at

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