Following the harrowing housing market crash of that year, while many people chose to lament the loss of jobs, retirement funds, and overall health, founding mother Ima B. Lait and father Seymour Butz (author of Under the Bleachers), chose instead to make lemonade from lemons. Using money from an insurance claim that finally came through after the insurance company failed to prove arson, they bought up an entire block of foreclosed row houses in a former warehouse/factory district in Reading. The pair quickly set up URPA as the first ever American sports university.
Diversity is key at URPA with a wide-ranging physical education program that runs the gamut from bowling to ping pong to studies in celebratory entertainment. Academics are just as important at URPA with coursework that includes odds-making, pyramid scheme building, and dianetics.
Although Lait and Butz have designed a grueling program that ensures excellence in all of their students, they do not neglect the lighter side of a college education. They have joined the South-Central conference – northern section, where they regularly meet rivals West Idaho School for Dysfunctionality and Eastern Yukon Territory Misanthropic U for battle on the field of water hockey. There are talks that soon they will add tree climbing team as well.
To lead the fans in cheering on the hometown warriors, URPA has chosen the mighty tartigrade for their mascot, citing the resilience of the creature in its day to day search for pond scum and the meaning of life. “They’re really quite flexible,” says Lait. “Plus the costume is fairly small,” Butz adds. “We save money there.” Team colors are yellow and black.
References in Popular Culture
URPA is the setting for the popular La Abuela episode of Amazing Berks. Actual URPA students were used as extras in the shooting of the film. “It was a total gas acting alongside Julien, Chloe, Karen, and The Boyfriend,” says Timothy Weary, long-time URPA student. “But la abuela, ooh la la. I never thought I’d go for an octogenarian, but she is totally hot. I’d like to bend her over that walker and…”