Friday September 8, 2000
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Faces at Georgia Tech

- Profile on Bert Reeves -

Photo provided by Bert Reeves

Bert Reeves was Buzz for three years, but his identity as the man behind the Buzz mask was kept secret so fans could let Buzz have his own life.

By Julia Trapold Assistant Campus Life Editor

While everyone on campus may not recognize his name, everyone has seen Bert Reeves before. He has been our mascot for the past three years, although most people did not know who was inside the bee suit. “The identity of Buzz is kept secret to maintain the integrity of the character. We want people to look at Buzz as Buzz, not Bert,” he said.

Bert came to Tech in 1995 from Kennesaw, Georgia. Now in his sixth year, he will graduate in December with a degree in Management.

During his first year at Tech, Bert pledged Phi Gamma Delta, which he said has been “a very important part of my college experience.” He also was a member of Greek Life, which is a Christian organization for members of the Greek community.

“My faith in God is a big part of my life,” Bert said. “I’ve always tried to show that to people in the work I do on campus. I am using the gifts and talents God gave me to have a positive influence on people.”

At the end of his second year, Bert decided to try out for the position of Buzz, and the next year he began performing as our mascot. “My personality is kind of a lot like Buzz – spastic, enthusiastic, and energetic,” he said. “I always thought I’d make a good Buzz.”

His first year as Buzz Bert mainly worked at volleyball and women’s basketball games. The next year he was the “head” Buzz and assigned appearances and took care of administrative work, as well as performing at football and men’s basketball games. He also traveled with President Clough around the southeast for alumni fund-raising events. Bert said, “It was great that I got to build an acquaintanceship with Dr. Clough.”

During his tenure as Buzz, Bert appeared in Sports Illustrated and ESPN Magazine. He also made many appearances around Atlanta, including stops at local children’s hospitals. “It was very special to get to make people smile,” he said. “The thing I got most out of being Buzz was the rare, unique opportunity to represent Georgia Tech in a way that very few students get to do.”

Last year Bert worked with the Georgia Tech Foundation to establish an endowment scholarship for Buzz. He presented the idea to several reunion classes, and the fiftieth reunion class accepted his proposal and decided to sponsor Buzz.

The scholarship works by giving the interest, usually 5 percent, of the alumni’s donations to the designated organization. Because the donations of the fiftieth reunion class totaled over $450,000, Buzz gets approximately $20,000 each year. The money is used for expenses and is also given to the students who portray Buzz.

“The scholarship is a legacy that I am proud to have left to the Buzz program,” Bert said.

Another side of Bert is his involvement with the Interfraternity Council, which he has been involved in for the past three years. “Three years ago I saw the need and opportunity for improvement in the Greek system,” he said. “So I interviewed for IFC rush chair and got the position.”

Bert regulated rush during the beginning of his fourth year. His job was to enforce rush rules, which basically prohibit the use of alcohol. “I received a lot of opposition because I was trying to enforce rules that people like to break,” he said.

In the fall of 1998, Bert switched positions to the semester conversion chair and helped convert the bylaws of the Greek system from quarters to semesters.

Finally, in the spring of his fourth year, Bert was elected IFC president. The tenure of his presidency can be summed up by the new Georgia Tech alcohol policy, since the majority of his term was dedicated to it.

“We initiated, developed, implemented, and regulated a new Georgia Tech alcohol policy,” said Bert. “The new policy changed the social scene, but it is effectively answering the alcohol issue at Tech.”

Though he is no longer involved in IFC, his work as president has not left the council. “The new IFC exec members are continuing with the same vision we had,” Bert said. “It is awesome to see it continue. It’s rewarding to know you’ve done something that is being taken seriously.”

After graduating, Bert plans on working in commercial real estate or consulting. Eventually he would like to start a political career so that he may serve the community through elected office.