WISE, Va. — The University of Virginia’s College at Wise has announced it will change its name to The University of Virginia’s College at Lay’s after receiving a $110 million dollar endowment from Frito-Lay, Inc.
Frito-Lay executives hope the name change will encourage college students to try their latest release, Lay’s Purple Haze Potato Chips. The new snack is made with organic Peruvian purple potatoes and laced with THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Development of Lay’s Purple Haze began four years ago when Frito-Lay was looking for a more effective way to capitalize on the growing legalization of recreational marijuana beyond their more traditional offerings of Cheetos, Funyuns, and Cool Ranch Doritos.
The company approached the small university in rural Wise, Virginia after learning that one of their employees, Adam “Ruffles” Ruffalino, is an alumnus.
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Melanie West, a spokesperson for Frito-Lay, hopes the large investment in UVa-Lay’s will encourage interest from students in their new product and help the university grow into a regional powerhouse for education.
“Some have criticized us for spending more than $100 million dollars on a publicity stunt, but it’s a small price to pay for solid guerilla marketing,” West said. “Besides, when it comes to marijuana and potato chips, you could say we’ve got a PhD in THC.”
“Plus, it’s a nice little ‘gotcha’ for our competitor, Wise Foods,” West added.
The deal has not been without some criticism from current students, faculty, and alumni who are concerned that the university could tarnish its respected history and endanger its accreditation. Several student organizations have written letters to the university and two faculty members resigned in protest.
UVa-Lay’s President Phillip Price dismissed the complaints as overblown. “Look, initially we were concerned that people might be upset about our selling out the university for money, but then we tried those new Purple Haze chips and somewhere along the line we forgot to care,” Price said.
“It’s really not that big of a deal. We’re even going to start putting a little cartoon of Chester Cheetah on every diploma. It will be dope, I promise. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an appointment to kiss the sky.”
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