When Chip Snively does something, he does it big. So when he pitched an idea to surprise the Undergraduate Business Program’s (UBP) Class of 2016 with a UNC Kenan-Flagler star-studded lip sync video, we knew it would be legen – wait for it – dary. Legendary.
And it was.
The video, produced by Academic Technology’s Jessica Starnes and Grace Shackelford (BSBA ’17), features appearances by more than 30 members of the Business School community – including Dean Doug Shackelford!
With the video set to premiere during the UBP graduation ceremony, Snively decided to up the ante by challenging UBP Associate Dean Dick Blackburn to incorporate subtle references to the “Best Day of My Life” lyrics into his remarks, foreshadowing the surprise video.
The best part? Snively pledged to donate $100 per use – up to 10, or $1,000 – to The Fund for UNC Kenan-Flagler, on top of his annual Dean’s Circle gift. And one particular lyric – “no limits, just epiphanies” – was worth double.
Blackburn wasn’t sure he could incorporate that many references, but he was willing to try if Snively agreed to donate $200 per use – which he did. “I didn’t know he took negotiations class,” jokes Snively.
There was just one catch: The challenge was issued just two days before graduation, giving Blackburn a short window to rework his speech.
Blackburn delivered in a big way, exceeding his own expectations by incorporating lyrics like “everybody up now” and “you all had dreams so big and loud… [these are the folks who] helped you jump so high you touched the clouds” into his remarks. He even managed to work in the “epiphanies” quote.
“I think he was playing me,” laughs Snively. “He ‘cost’ me $2,000!”
But it was worth it.
“The School has done so much for me, my wife – accounting professor Tanja Snively (MAC ’15) – and our family in our five years here that, in some way, we feel we HAVE to give back. Seeing the amazing things the UNC Kenan-Flagler faculty and staff do for our students – and for the global community in which we operate – makes us WANT to give back and support the School,” says Snively.
“And of course, if I can make a half-court shot in the Dean Dome and have it shown on the jumbotron while Dr. Blackburn says ‘epiphanies’ to the crowd…well, that’s easily worth $2,000!”