John Boyer is well known for his “Plaid Avenger” graphic novel series, teaching a geography class of more than 3,000 students at Virginia Tech and his retro 1970’s style. He received the Student’s Choice Award for Faculty Member of the Year for eight years in a row, took to the sea to teach on a boat last year and even sent a video request to President Barack Obama asking him to visit Virginia Tech’s campus in 2012. Now, Boyer has once again taken to the Web to appeal to an authoritative leader, this time seeking the attention of King Abdullah II of Jordan – and he succeeded.
Using his passionate demeanor to his advantage, Boyer addressed a YouTube video to King Abdullah, inviting him to come to Virginia Tech to talk about what is going on in the Middle East.
“Given your position and the geographic position of your country as the center of action in this region, you actually have the most unique perspective and best outlook for what’s going on in the entire region,” he said in the near two-minute long video. “And these students would cherish some time to interact with you on those very events. Having said that, we would love to, and must humbly invite you to visit our campus and our classroom to interact with these students on these critical events happening in your region.”
The camera then pans the entire room, offering King Abdullah a chance to see just how excited Boyer’s class is to meet him in person. The students break into a “Jordan” chant at the very end, much like you’d hear during a tight game between the Hokies and FSU.
Now, Boyer didn’t necessarily think that he’d receive a response from King Abdullah – especially after President Barack Obama never got back to him in 2012 – but lo and behold, he did! To his surprise on Valentine’s Day, Boyer stumbled upon a video posted by King Abdullah.
“Professor Boyer, students of Virginia Tech, thank you very much for your warm and very enthusiastic invitation to come and visit you,” he said rather thoughtfully. “Unfortunately, I think all of us have been beaten by the snow storm. I’m actually in Washington, D.C. We can’t make it out to meet you this afternoon. I’m very sorry, I would have been delighted to have had the opportunity to be with you.”
What seemed like the start of a break-up video, soon transitioned into an informative minute and a half of background on Kind Abdullah’s love for geography. He couldn’t travel out to Virginia Tech in person, but he did say that next time he is in the States he will “make it a priority to drop by Virginia Tech.”
King Abdullah also extended an invitation to Boyer and his class, asking that they visit Jordan. The jury’s still out on whether the 3,000+ students from Virginia Tech will actually make the trek, but regardless of what happens next, it’s still pretty awesome that the King of Jordan acknowledged and appreciated Boyer’s video request.
Check out both videos below: