SAE Welcomed Transfer Student With Open Arms

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Jarrett Davis '50 Thanks SAE for Great U of SC Years

When Jarrett Davis ’50 transferred to the University of South Carolina from Georgia Tech in 1947, he left behind familiarity and friendships—critical components in a successful college experience. Not knowing just how easy the transition to a new school could be, Jarrett was thrilled to find a whole group of new brothers waiting to welcome him with open arms.

“I joined SAE as a freshman when I enrolled at Georgia Tech,” he explains. “When I decided to transfer to South Carolina, I never thought of not staying in the fraternity.”

Although the process may be different today, Jarrett found the transition both simple and comforting.

“Normally, I think today they would vote me in and allow me to affiliate with their chapter, but back then, I affiliated as soon as I got there,” he says. “I found all of the brothers to be very welcoming.”

In addition to the transition process, the housing situation was also different back in the late 1940s. Instead of having a house, members resided in the dormitory housing. However, Jarrett still found a way to develop deep relationships with his brothers, especially his roommate.

“I remember having double bunks that I shared with the same roommate the whole time I was there—Ed Royal '51,” he recalls.

Time and distance, however, has made it difficult to maintain contact with his SAE Brothers.

“I don’t really keep in touch with many anymore, including Ed. He married my old girlfriend, but that’s not the reason we don’t talk,” he chuckles.

Jarrett does manage to stay connected to Richard Blencowe '51, whom he speaks with on the phone occasionally and visits during his annual vacation to Sullivan’s Island.

Today, Jarrett is married to his wife of 62 years, Mary Virginia. Together they have three grown children, including one son that joined SAE at the University of Georgia and another that joined Sigma Chi at the University of North Carolina.

Proud to see them continue the Greek Life, Jarrett didn’t intentionally influence their choice to continue the family tradition. “I had no influence on their choices, but rather let them make it on their own,” he says. "I must say, though, I am pretty proud of them.”

While many of the SAE memories have faded for Jarrett, the fraternity has given him lifelong advantages. The leadership and interpersonal skills gained from SAE aided him in the insurance business, from which he is now retired.

“It’s been too long for many of my memories,” he admits, “but I know that I made some really wonderful friends at SAE and I support the chapter in memory of them. Basically, I had a great time during my years at the University of South Carolina and my membership in the SAE fraternity was a major reason why.”