Profs take a pie to the face
for a good cause
By Stephanie Hebert
May 9, 2008 | The professors were in their corner
huddled together for strength. The students were quietly
in their corner knowing they had the upper hand on their
professors and advisors, for once.
It was pie a professor day, April 17, an annual fundraiser
put on by Psi Chi, the national psychology honor society.
OK, so there were no corners, and everyone there,
was there for fun. The professors were clumped together
in front of the education building on 700 North. The
students stood together around the blue tarp taped to
the ground. The tarp represented ground zero, where
the professors would stand while they were assaulted
by whipped cream, and it made it easier to clean up
after the event was over. Oh yeah, and there were no
real pies, only simulated pies-whipped cream on Styrofoam
"I did hear stories about when they actually used
pies, and it was apparently a god-awful mess," said
Dr. Susan Crowley, one of the few psychology professors
to volunteer to be pied.
"Yeah," said Dr. Renee Galliher, another psychology
professor who has participated in the event since it
started and was there when they used real pies. "But
it was much more delicious."
The willing victims of the simulated pies were offered
disposable shower caps to keep the whipped cream out
of their hair. They also had the option of wearing a
shiny, slimming, black garbage bag with a hole cut in
the top for their head to keep the whipped cream off
their clothes. Most professors chose to wear the ensemble,
but one, Dr. Scott Bates, was a brave soldier taking
the pies without any plastic protection. For the most
part he came out unscathed, he did however, bring a
change of clothes with him, just in case.
When asked why he allowed pies to be smeared in his
face, Bates said, "It is an interesting fund raiser,
most fund raiser aren't interesting. It is all done
in fun, and it is a good stress relief. I always thought
it would be a bigger deal. I think we are missing some
Galliher said, "It's a fun time, then you go home
and clean up."
Corina Jimenez-Gomez, a graduate student from Venezuela
who volunteered to be pied, said, "For a few seconds
I thought it would be fun. When Jake came to my office
and he started talking about it, and he's really enthusiastic
and talking really fast and I was like ‘Ok yeah. Oh
Ok.' and he walked out of my office and I was sitting
there and it just hit me ‘Oh no!'."
If you wanted a chance to smear a pie in a professor's
face you had to win the bidding war for that professor.
The bids started at five dollars. However if you didn't
win the bid for the professor you wanted all you had
to do was wait because most professors were up for pieing
more than once.
Once the bidding war was won the lucky professor would
suit up (or not in some cases) and go stand on the dreaded
blue tarp. To keep the mess level down it was decided
that instead of throwing the pies the students would
walk right up to the professors and cream them right
in the face with the pie. You can only image the satisfaction
some of them had in doing this.
"It felt great. I wanted to get as much as I could
up the nostrils," said Jonathon Kidd when asked about
his pieing experience of Bates. "He has been my professor
twice and I SIed for him, it is a love/hate relationship,
some days it's really good, some days it's really bad."
As the pieings continued, strategies started to emerge
as to maximize the damage done with the pie. There was
the twisting action that was used at the beginning of
the afternoon in which the students would plant the
pie in the professors face and twist the plate left
and right. By the end of the afternoon and the plate
fold became popular. The pier would take their plate
in two hands and fold the plate around the pie-ee's
head to make sure that whip cream covered the entire
The professors in the peanut gallery started to rate
the pie face after the plate was removed. This was based
on how much whipped cream was stuck the piee's face
and how much was left on the plate after the pieing
"Think about your thesis," said Galliher to Katie
Peterson as Peterson walked up to her with a pie in
hand and a smile on her face.
"I wasn't thinking about my thesis, it was revenge,"
Peterson said of her experience.
Jenna Glover pied Crowley and Galliher and when asked
why she did it Glover said, "I am a graduate student
so those were my advisors. Payback."
However Crowley and Galliher had the last laugh when
they bid and won a joint pieing on Glover.
The dean of the college of Education and Human Services
Carol Strong agreed to get pied. As she donned the provided
plastic protection the excitement in the crowd grew
like a weed in spring. As the bidding war commenced
the desperation to be the one pie Dean Strong became
intense. Finally the bidding war was won by Alexis Lopez.
As the pie was smeared in the dean's face a roar erupted,
much like Mount Vesuvius, from the entire crowd- faculty
When asked how she felt about pieing Dean Strong,
Lopez said it was "Awesome. It was worth the twenty
bucks to be the first one to pie Dean Strong."
Toward the end of the afternoon the professors started
to plot against their unsuspecting graduate students
that happened to wander by. Peterson who pied one of
her advisors volunteered to be pied by her advisor.
It seemed what went around came around and the professors
who had been on the receiving end of the pies learned
from their students and showed no mercy.
There was whipped cream in everybody's hair, an effective
styling agent for those college students who are short
on money and may have whipped cream in your refrigerators.
Some even complained that whipped cream had coated their
contacts and they were looking through a sucrose film
after they had been pied. However it was a successful
day for Psi Chi. The weather was perfect, the sun was
shining, and it was so warm the whipped cream started
to melt. The only complaint that was heard came from
Bates who said in response to a bidding war, "I went
for $30 last year."