The lesson at Indiana Wesleyan University’s Wednesday morning chapel service attended by its 3,000 residential students last week perhaps made an impact like no other before.
The administrator for Residential Education, Keith Newman, wanted students to remember the quote, “Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone,” and had a plan for demonstrating how that would feel.
He ordered two pizzas from Domino’s to be delivered to the university chapel. He then passed collection baskets around for students to offer a cash tip or write an encouraging note to show their appreciation for his service.
The unsuspecting deliveryman, James Gilpin, a father of two, was asked to come on the stage. As the students stood and cheered, Newman presented him with $1,248 in tips and a bag containing hundreds of inspirational notes.
“It started out as a lesson about making a difference in the lives of others,” the school wrote on their Facebook page, but the news has spread far beyond the school in Marion, Indiana.
The Domino’s worker said the notes made him feel especially good, and the money would go toward fixing his car, home improvements and buying Christmas gifts for his two young children.
Ironically, Dr. Newman was worried about having to follow a highly emotional chapel service presented days earlier. He joked to fellow administrators that he was “going to have to follow that with pizza.”
“We didn’t know what he was going to do,” said Alan Miller, the Public Relations Director for the school who said they didn’t try to publicize the unusual service at all.
“Students started tweeting about it and a local news channel picked up on the story and called us for interviews,” Miller told the Good News Network by phone.
Newman himself missed basking in his fifteen minutes of fame at the school, having flown directly to China after his talk. It’s likely they will still be talking about it when he gets home.
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Photo used with permission of Indiana Wesleyan University