Gee, who grew up in a small town 100 miles east of Salt Lake City, remembers sitting in a doctor’s office, as a teenager, when he saw one for the first time. A man, decked out in a bow tie untied and retied it for a young and inquisitive Gee.
He was hooked.
So, he started wearing them – from his teenage years through today. He has now amassed a collection of 1,000 bow ties.
When he returned to WVU this year, many students were already familiar with the decades-long higher education leader. Many tweeted at Gee about his affinity for bow ties and expressed a desire to wear them, too.
Well, for those wishing Gee would show you how to tie a spiffy bow tie, your request is answered in this new video.
“To me, a bow tie is not just a fashion statement,” Gee said. “It has served as a trademark for much of my life and is ingrained as part of my identity.”
Gee often tells the story of when he first became president of WVU in the ‘80s. Some faculty members, at the time, told him he did not act or look like a university president should – because of his quirky attire and bow ties. He tried changing his look, but it did not feel right to him. Soon enough, he returned to being the Gee we all know and love, bow tie and all.
And, as history shows, his individuality did not stop him from succeeding in life, as he became president of other top universities in the country.
“There is nothing more important than finding your true self and expressing it,” Gee said. “So do not be afraid to take your own course. As college students, this is a pivotal moment in your lives. A moment in which you will form an identity and unravel your true self.”
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