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Ryan's college years: A Delt who liked turtlenecks

By Peter Hamby, CNN Political Reporter
updated 11:44 AM EDT, Tue August 14, 2012
Sporting a turtleneck, Paul Ryan, center, back row, is shown here in 1990 with his Miami University fraternity Delta Tau Delta, from the school's yearbook. Sporting a turtleneck, Paul Ryan, center, back row, is shown here in 1990 with his Miami University fraternity Delta Tau Delta, from the school's yearbook.
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Paul Ryan, Delta Tau Delta, 1990
Paul Ryan, Delta Tau Delta, 1992
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Miami University in Ohio helped to shape Rep. Paul Ryan's political and ideological views
  • But Ryan didn't spend all his time in the classroom studying Ayn Rand and others
  • Congressman was a Delt, a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity
  • Yearbook photos show Ryan also had a fondness for turtlenecks

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) -- Paul Ryan's four years at Miami University, a bucolic campus nestled in the small town of Oxford, Ohio, helped to shape the Wisconsin congressman's political and ideological views.

An economics professor named Richard Hart guided Ryan through the classics of conservative economic theory, and Ryan soon came to revere thinkers such as Ludwig von Mises, Ayn Rand, Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman.

But Ryan, who graduated in 1992, didn't spend all his time in the classroom.

Ryan was also a Delt -- a member of Delta Tau Delta, one of many fraternities on a campus where Greek life reigns.

He also had a fondness for turtlenecks apparently.

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That's according to several group photos of the fraternity that appeared in the 1989, 1990 and 1992 editions of Recensio, Miami's yearbook.

The pictures were passed along by a Democratic researcher sent to Miami's campus after Mitt Romney tapped Ryan as his running mate.

Ryan is one of many Delta Tau Delta alumni who have entered politics, and the second vice presidential candidate to emerge from the fraternity nationally: Alben Barkley, a longtime senator from Kentucky, was vice president during Harry Truman's second term.

Other notable Delts from around the country include actor Will Ferrell, journalist Roger Mudd, former NFL star John Elway, former R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck and Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear.

Delta Tau Delta brothers on campus at Miami reacted with excitement at the news of Ryan's selection as Romney's No. 2.

"Pretty damn cool to say that a VP candidate was raging in the same fraternity house as me 20 years ago," tweeted one Miami undergrad Saturday when Romney announced his pick.

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