Jerry Newport: Making the Most of Different Abilities!
“I appreciate Delta Chi now as a lifetime experience- showing loyalty and love from college that is still there. You might not even see it as an undergrad. When I think about my Delta Chi experience, it makes me even gladder today that I felt back then…”
Jerry Newport was born August 19, 1948. He is an author and public speaker with Asperger syndrome. His life was the basis for the 2005 feature-length movie Mozart and the Whale. He is known for his frank advice and humor. While at school, he earned a BA in mathematics and pledged Delta Chi.
Joining a fraternity in the fall of 1966 was a big step for Jerry. In high school, he didn’t have much of a social life, so the opportunity to date and party was a big step for him! College was a very happy period in his life and he reflected fondly on “keggers that kept him from completing a mid-term exam” and “football games that swept him away by opposing teams.” His Delta Chi pledge class was the biggest one to date at that point with eight pledges. To this day, he enjoys staying in touch with brothers… especially Alec Pridgeon, Ken Brier, Frank Morrey and Mike Novak. (Mike was his Big Brother and Ken was my Little Brother.)
Jerry is a savant with the ability to perform difficult mathematical calculations in his head. He has two elder brothers, John and Jim. In June 2010, Jerry Newport competed in the Mental Calculation World Cup in Magdeburg, Germany. He won four of ten events, a second and a third and the World Cup Trophy for “Most Versatile Calculator.” On his 46th birthday, Jerry married Star Trek actress Mary Louise Meinel, who is also a savant with Asperger Syndrome.
While Jerry has advanced math skills, Mary is an artist and former music teacher. From previous relationships, she has two sons, Stephen and Peter, and two grandchildren. The couple lives in Arizona. They separated in 1997 and divorced in June 1999. They later reconciled and remarried on Valentine’s Day 2002. Together, he and Mary released Autism-Aspergers & Sexuality: Puberty and Beyond and Mozart and the Whale: An Asperger’s Love Story. He was featured twice on 60 Minutes. You can watch their love story by clicking here: http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/autistic-couple-finds-love/ .
It’s his hope to make it to the big reunion in September and feels as though a new house is definitely needed in order for the fraternity to continue. He says excitedly, “I’m all for it. I hope we can succeed!”