Sometimes it takes a village – or at least an understanding professor – to get tickets for a Taylor Swift concert.
An interaction between a Presbyterian College professor and one of his students went viral on Twitter and received national news coverage this past week as tickets went on sale for pop star Taylor Swift’s upcoming The Eras Tour.
It started with an email from PC student Grace Hoover to her advisor and assistant biology professor Austin Shull and a plea for help:
Hooover slugged the email, “REALLY IMPORTANT” and wrote that it contained the “question of the year.”
“If you agree, it will make my day and entire year,” she wrote. “I am currently in line for Taylor Swift tickets but have my anatomy practicum at 1.30. Do you think it’s at all possible that you could watch my spot in line on my laptop while I take it?”
Shull shared the unusual request on Twitter and it immediately garnered attention, even as “Swifties” (a nickname for Swift fans) like Hoover struggled to get tickets through Ticketmaster. The online ticketing service was plagued by lengthy delays and long wait times after the Swift tickets went on sale.
“You have to serve many roles when you’re a professor and advisor…,” he Tweeted with a screen capture of the email. The Tweet garnered more than 120,000 likes and Yahoo! News, USA Today and the New York Times picked up the story.
Shull later confirmed that he did, indeed, keep Hoover’s spot in the que as she took her practicum and that Hoover eventually got her tickets.
“[She] got her tickets everyone!!! (Oh and I think she did well on her lab practicum too),” he wrote in another post.
The simple act received national attention and praise from Swifties, who lauded Shull for going above and beyond his job description.
“Congratulations on not being the anti-hero,” one person responded on Twitter, a reference to the Swift song Anti-Hero on her newest album.
Praise also came from closer to home at PC.
“Thank you Dr. Shull for being the best ever,” Hoover posted on Facebook. “This is why I love Presbyterian College.”