Years from now when Kelsie Frick thinks back to her college graduation, she will only need to use one word to describe it: awesome.
Earlier this month, the newly-minted Grand Valley State University alumna pulled off a graduation prank that left her parents and classmates stunned, the crowd in hysterics and the administrators on stage stifling back giggles.
Frick, 23, of Alto, Mich., had planned to “dance or do something silly on the stage” as she received her diploma at the Grand Rapids, Mich., school’s fall graduation ceremony Dec. 8, she told ABCNews.com. As she waited in line among the 1,000 or so graduates to go up on stage, however, she realized her dancing dreams would be dashed because the names were being read so quickly.
The quick-thinking Frick, an English major, instead pulled out a pencil and added a quick “en” and then “awesome” to the end of her fortuitous last name on the name card each graduate handed the announcer to read.
“I didn’t know if they’d say it or not because I wrote it in pencil,” Frick said. “But the person in front of me had two middle names so four names in all so I thought maybe that would help.”
Help it did. As Frick walked across the stage, the announcer loudly stated her name, “Kelsie Elise Frick-en-awesome,” just as she had written it. Her dad Ed, fully expecting his daughter to “dance or do something silly,” recorded the moment on his phone and posted it to YouTube, where it’s been viewed more than 200,000 times.
“He [the announcer] ended up reading it and he only realized it halfway through,” Frick said. “Afterwards everyone was cheering and laughing and applauding for a while and the lady announcing the name after me, you could tell she was trying to hold back a laugh.”
Frick, who had been nervous before the ceremony about the consequences of her antics, said no one from the university said anything to her that day, but she did receive a few emails from school officials afterwards, congratulating her for graduating and thanking her for “lightening up” the nearly three-hour ceremony.
Frick said that making the ceremony more fun was her intention, but that she herself, as an education minor who wants to become a teacher, won’t be encouraging her future students to do the same.
“They say that teachers are the worst students,” she said. “So, no, I probably wouldn’t tell my kids to do something like that. But I know what the kids are up to since I have an eye for things like that, so that’s good.”