This Georgia Tech degree is real, but the man who earned it doesn't exist! Learn more about George P. Burdell
George P. Burdell is quite a distinguished gentleman. He holds a Bachelors and Masters degree from Georgia Tech, served in WWII, was on the board of directors of Mad Magazine and was known to dabble in technology, being listed as the production assistant for the South Park website. In 2001 he was almost selected as Time Magazine's "Person of the Year."
The only problem is that George P. Burdell does not exist. He was a fictitious creation of Georgia Tech student, William Edgar Smith, who started the prank in 1927 when he mistakenly received two enrollment forms. Smith enrolled Burdell for the same course he was doing and submitted all his work twice earning his creation first a Bachelors degree in Ceramic Engineering and then later a Masters degree as well.
Other students picked up on the sham and Burdell started appearing in all manner of places, including on the flight crew of a B-17 Bomber during WWII. He was married, celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary in 2006. He continued to feature on the student roll at Georgia Tech taking more classes each year.
In 1969 Georgia Tech computerised their admissions system believing they had finally found a way to stop Burdell from registering. Unfortunately for them, student hackers cracked the system and registered Burdell for every course on offer.
To this day, Burdell is a icon at Georgia Tech and is introduced to freshman as "one of the greatest alumni to graduate from the school."