It was barely 9 a.m. when Dr. Samuel D. Hodge halted his Oct. 27 lecture mid-sentence and smiled knowingly as his classroom was overrun with Temple University cheerleaders, Diamond Gem dancers, marching band members and mascot Hooter the Owl leading the Temple fight song.
“I told you to expect the unexpected,” said Hodge, Professor of Legal Studies at the Fox School of Business, to students scrambling for their smartphones to catch the excitement on camera.
Hodge’s Law in Society students, gathered in Alter Hall’s 274-seat auditorium, were made the subjects of the university’s second Pop-Up Pride event. (The first event, held Oct. 13, featured alumnus Nicolas Jimenez, FOX ’08.) The spirit squad surprises unsuspecting Temple students, faculty members, or alumni to provide a jolt of school spirit.
Hodge couldn’t wait for his students to see what he’d planned for them. He’d told them the cameras lingering around the room were just shooting promotional material for the university, and was pleased to realize they honestly had no idea.
“You really can’t find a better week to do this,” said Hodge, a football season-ticket holder, alluding to Temple’s matchup Oct. 31 with Notre Dame, a fellow nationally ranked team.
Shouting into the bullhorn, Pop-Up Pride squad leader and Engagement Coordinator for the Office of Alumni Relations Ray Smeriglio, SMC ’15, complimented Hodge’s dedication to Temple athletics and his unwavering school spirit.
“Why did we ambush your classroom?” Smeriglio said, throwing his arm around Hodge’s shoulders. “Because you’ve got one bomb professor.”
Hodge’s students smiled as they snapped photos with their smartphones before attempting to catch beaded necklaces, T-shirts and beach balls being thrown around the auditorium. Most were too shocked to speak.
Hodge laughed as he dismissed his students, sure his lecture couldn’t compete with the echoing sound of “Go T-U!” left in the Pop-Up Pride squad’s wake.
“This is part of what the college environment is about — fostering school spirit,” Hodge said. “You’re Temple now, and you’re Temple for the rest of your life.”