From the Chicago Sun-Times:
While the ill-informed, right-wing buffoon he plays on TV is said to be a Dartmouth alum, the real Colbert graduated from Northwestern in 1986 and was never much for school spirit. The parade gig cracks up his former college sweetheart, Ayun Halliday, “because I can’t imagine that we ever went to the Homecoming Parade, or Homecoming, or a single football game. He was not a fraternity boy.”
Back then, he seemed destined not to play the fool, but to play Hamlet.
“He was masculine and intelligent and radiated his intelligence,” Halliday said. “He had a certain gravitas that he could get across onstage.”
Or when playing Dungeons & Dragons, Colbert’s nerdy campus diversion of choice.