U of M pays for stu­dents’ cof­fee dur­ing a stress­ful fi­nals week

The Commercial Appeal - - Front Page - Jen­nifer Pig­no­let Mem­phis Com­mer­cial Ap­peal USA TO­DAY NET­WORK - TEN­NESSEE

Study­ing for fi­nals is stress­ful. Univer­sity of Mem­phis Pres­i­dent M. David Rudd fig­ured a cup of joe could help alleviate some of that stress.

Rudd left a $250 gift card at the Star­bucks on cam­pus and posted on Twit­ter that cof­fee was on him.

“A lit­tle cof­fee makes study day eas­ier,” Rudd tweeted. “Left a $250 gift card at Star­bucks. Philip be­hind the counter will help you. On me un­til it’s gone. En­joy.”

It sure sur­prised Philip Manzo, the junior en­gi­neer­ing stu­dent be­hind the counter Thurs­day morn­ing.

“I didn’t even know who he was when he showed up,” Manzo said.

Rudd didn’t in­tro­duce him­self, Manzo said, but was nonethe­less po­lite in his re­quest.

“He said, ‘Philip, please put $250 on this gift card and please let ev­ery­one use up the rest of the gift card for who­ever comes in line,’ ” Manzo said.

The im­pact was al­most im­me­di­ate, he said, and “a lot of peo­ple started show­ing up.”

“Peo­ple were call­ing and tex­ting their friends,” he said. “It got big quick.”

The money was gone in about 30 min­utes.

Manzo saw the post on Twit­ter, with his name on it, dur­ing his next break.

“It was so amaz­ing I had to call my mother,” Manzo said.

He’s likely go­ing to re­mem­ber Rudd af­ter this.

“I think it was very gen­er­ous of him,” Manzo said. “It was very nice of him to come in and greet me with a smile and give $250 away to some stu­dents.”

Thurs­day is a study day at the univer­sity fol­low­ing the last day of classes Wed­nes­day. Fi­nal ex­ams be­gin Fri­day.

Rudd’s cof­fee of­fer also was pop­u­lar on Twit­ter.

“I don’t even go to the school but I’m go­ing to say thank you for just show­ing love,” one per­son wrote back to Rudd.

Rudd said the ges­ture was a pick-meup.

“Some­thing to pick their spir­its up go­ing into fi­nals never hurts,” he said.

It’s not the first time Rudd has dropped off gifts on cam­pus, or at Star­bucks. He left $200 be­hind the counter for the first day of school this se­mes­ter, and an­other $100 dur­ing fi­nals last year.

Ear­lier this year, a stu­dent sent Rudd a tweet lament­ing there was only one mi­crowave on cam­pus ac­ces­si­ble for those who com­mute to school.

“Loretta and I will do­nate three our­selves,” Rudd said, re­fer­ring to him­self and his wife. “We’ll find an ap­pro­pri­ate room at the (Univer­sity Cen­ter) and let you know when they’re up and run­ning.”

Reach Jen­nifer Pig­no­let at jen­nifer. pig­no­[email protected]­mer­cialap­peal.com.

AP­PEAL BRAD COM­MER­CIAL

Univer­sity of Mem­phis Pres­i­dent M. David Rudd dropped off enough money for a few dozen peo­ple to have cof­fee at the cam­pus Star­bucks on Thurs­day ahead of fi­nal ex­ams. VEST / THE

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