Students, professors get pied for a good cause

Dozens of students took part in the annual event that raises money for the American Cancer Society.


It seems there is no better way to bond with your professors these days than by throwing a pie on their faces.

At least that’s what most of the students who participated in Tuesday’s “Pie Your Professor” event at College Coffee said.

“There is no revenge,” said senior Adam Portoghese after putting a whipped cream pie on the face of his political science senior seminar professor, Jason Kirk. “It’s friendship – strengthening our friendship that will last eons.”

Portoghese is the president of Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, the organization that sponsors the event as a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. He said he invited Kirk to participate because he knew he would be “a good sport.”

“It’s hard to actually invite professors who you think are going to say yes.”

Assistant Professor of Education Jeff Carpenter also received a personalized invitation to be part of the event.

“I figure if a student was pleading for me individually to come that I would do it,” Kirk said as he waited for the next pie to land on his face. “It’s for a good cause.”

Carpenter, who had participated in a similar event in the past as a high school teacher, said his only request was that students use foam plates to avoid any unforeseen accidents. Case in point: during his last pie-on-the-face experience, he got cut on the nose by an aluminum tin.

For Aaron Peeks, assistant professor of sociology, the even has become an annual ritual.

“Students love to come and get revenge,” Peeks said. “Last year, a student came and said, ‘This is for ruining my GPA.’”

That was not the case this time around.

“You knew this was coming, right?” junior Emily Buehler told Peeks, her thesis adviser, before rubbing a pie on his face. “We spend a lot time together and it was necessary. This is a bonding experience, not revenge.”

Unlike past years, event organizers were not able to recruit enough professors for the event. Alison Miller, Alpha Phi Omega fellowship vice president, said several student leaders volunteered to fill in the void at the last minute.

Sophomore Lindsey Schmidt was one of them. Schmidt, who was recently crowned as the 2012 Miss North Carolina U.S.A. Ambassador, said the fundraiser was personal, adding that years ago her aunt was diagnosed with leukemia when she was pregnant. While her aunt and the baby survived, Schmidt said she’s made it a point to support the Cancer Society in any way she can, even if meant getting a pie on the face.

Last year, the event raised $130 for the society. Organizers said they would likely raise roughly that amount this year.