Did you know that there is a real life "Van Wilder" who attended his university for 16 years and did not graduate despite…


When you go to university, you tend to stay there for 3 or 4 years, have a massive amount of fun, parties and alcohol, and come out the other end with a degree to show for it.

Image Source: Wikipedia
Image Source: Wikipedia

Whilst I’m not too familiar with the US credits system, this sure does sound impressive. Johnny Lechner had enough of them to get 9 majors and 5 minors, yet has nothing to show for it.

Lechner is now known as a TV actor and had a role in ‘Girls of Sunset Place’ in 2012 as well as in ‘Fraternity House’. He was born in Texas, but grew up in Wisconsin.

When he was at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater he was a perpetual student – that is, a student who is studying at a university, but staying for longer than the usual 3 or 4 years. This may be because of not being able to do a full-time degree, or for another reason.


In the years 2006 – 2009 Lechner did not graduate which meant that his perpetual student status continued. However, he is no longer listed in the student directory and so it is unsure whether he is still studying there. Despite this, he could’ve easily graduated long ago. He has not revealed his reasons for staying on as a student, or whether he still is a student, but if he isn’t, I’d have thought he’d want to get his well earned degree.

During his time as student he has gotten many awards, including the ‘Big Man on Campus’ award.

His attendance at the university is similar to the National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, the plot being about Wilder being at Coolidge College for seven years without graduating.

The university Lechner is at have even made a rule that students staying on for longer periods of time, like Lechner, have to pay double the standard tuition fees for in-state.


Written by Patrick Bennet

I have been working as a teacher my whole life. I love reading books.

I love writing about all kind of different and interesting facts. It's not only exciting, but I learn something new every day. What I learn I share it with you guys. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

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