Posted November 3, 2015

Temple brings pop-up pride event to Fox professor’s classroom

Video Production: Gina Benigno
It was only 9 a.m. when Samuel D. Hodge, LAW ’74, halted his Oct. 27 lecture mid-sentence and smiled knowingly as his classroom was overrun with Temple cheerleaders, Diamond Gem dancers, Diamond Marching Band members and Hooter the Owl leading the Temple fight song. 
“I told you to expect the unexpected,” said Hodge, professor of legal studies in the Fox School of Business, to students scrambling for their smartphones to record the excitement.
“You’re Temple now, and you’re Temple for the rest of your life.”
-- Samuel D. Hodge, LAW ’74
Hodge’s Law in Society students, gathered in Alter Hall’s 274-seat auditorium, were the subjects of Temple’s second Pop-Up Pride event. (The first event, held Oct. 13, featured alumnus Nick Jimenez, FOX ’08.) During Pop-Up Pride, a spirit squad surprises unsuspecting students, faculty, staff, alumni or friends to provide them with a jolt of Owl spirit. 
Hodge couldn’t wait for his students to see what he’d planned. He told them the camerapeople in the room were just shooting promotional material for the university and was pleased to realize they were truly surprised.
“You really can’t find a better week to do this,” said Hodge, a football season-ticket holder, alluding to Temple’s Oct. 31 matchup with Notre Dame, another nationally ranked team.
Shouting into the bullhorn, Pop-Up Pride squad leader and engagement coordinator in the Office of Alumni Relations Ray Smeriglio 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.”
—Lora Strum