Virginia Tech professor John Boyer has been called the Bill Nye of geography. He prefers his lecture classes to be massive — 3,000 students massive — and connects with students outside of class via technology. He often sports eye-catching plaid jackets and goes by the nickname ”The Plaid Avenger.” He is dramatic, high-energy and a little bit out there. And he is constantly winning teacher of the year awards from students.
So when Boyer set about inviting President Obama to stop by his world regions class for a discussion of international affairs and world policy, he didn’t go with a formal letter. Instead, Boyer and his 3,000 cheering students filmed a video and launched a social media campaign.
“Now, we don’t want no standardized campaign stump speeches,” Boyer says in the video invite, waving his hands and sporting funky glasses, a red plaid jacket and a blue plaid tie. “Uh-uh. We want the real thing, because these students are fired up about foreign policy and the future of America.”
The video was posted Wednesday on You Tube and, so far, more than 30,000 people have watched it. The video is getting some play in the local media, including an article in the student newspaper, the Collegiate Times. Meanwhile, here’s some of the buzz on Twitter:
RETWEET SO OBAMA WILL COME VISIT VT!!!youtube.com/watch?v=w8DNR-…— Emily walden (@Wheres_walden) September 6, 2012
LOL YOU CAN'T PLAY FOOTBALL RT @notyour_avg_joe: VT begging Obama to come visit; UVA told Obama he couldn't visit. We know hoo's better.— Plaid Scavenger (@PlaidPhil) September 6, 2012
(As I was writing this post, Twitter’s embed feature stopped working, so I am uploading the rest of these tweets the old-school, copy-and-paste way.)
@actinginthelib: One of our VT profs & his very large & incredibly passionate class inviting President Obama to talk with their class.
@M_and_Mz: Haha don't get me started on VT trying to get Obama.
@iamahappysquid: I was here! J. Boyer and his class (that’s us) wants Obama to come to VT. Spread the news.
@DarynAsh: Not a fan of Obama, but a huge fan of my favorite, former professor from VT. Best class I ever took.
#ThePlaidAvengerstrikes again. This is awesome!
#VT has your back! Come into our classroom and we will raise the roof, like this: http://youtu.be/w8DNR-rWKyE