Professor Fired from Baptist-affiliated University After Allowing his Image to Appear on a Beer Can


Charleston Southern University associate professor Paul Roof says the school fired him Friday after his bearded visage appeared on cans of Holy City Brewing’s Chucktown Follicle Brown.

“They said that this was not an image for the Christian environment and that it may seem to students that I am endorsing the use of alcohol,” says Roof, who taught at the university for seven years and also founded the social club Holy City Beard & Moustache Society. HCBMS hosts beard and mustache competitions as charity fundraisers for ovarian cancer patients and their families.

Charleston Southern is affiliated with the S.C. Baptist Convention, and potential employees must write a statement of faith when applying for a position. The City Paper sent a request for comment to several CSU administrators and received the following response from John Strubel, the school’s director of integrated marketing: “Your request is a personnel matter and we do not share personnel information.”

Roof has entered and won competitions nationwide, including 1st Place Freestyle Beard in the 2011 Miami Beard & Moustache Championships. The photo of a cowboy hat-bedecked Roof and his carefully waxed whiskers was taken by Las Vegas photographer Greg Anderson at the 2013 Beard and Moustache National Championships in New Orleans. Before it appeared on a beer can, the image was used on posters for the interactive conference Dig South 2014, where Roof emceed the Culturama finale event at the Alley. It has also been used by the Lubbock, Texas, branch of the Christian organization Young Life, which, if you scroll through itsFacebook page, appears to have an abiding fascination with facial hair.

Roof taught sociology in CSU’s behavioral sciences department, where his classes included American Popular Culture, Urban Sociology, and Social Research Methods. To him, he said, the widely varying use of his own bearded image was an interesting case study.

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Charleston City Paper

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