University of Tennessee professor John Haas was instructing his students in an online Zoom class on Thursday. Then someone came late, inviting the professor to say sternly, “Mr. Thompson, I think you’re late for class. ”
“I’m sorry, Dr. Haas,” replied Peyton Manning, wearing a Tennessee visor. ” It’s been a while. It’s been at least since 1996 or 1997 since I started school. ”
When the students realized that it was the football legend who had planted their higher education in communication, some could be seen speechless, apparently incredulous.
“You know, if you were here, I would get you up the stadium steps to be late,” said Haas, which made the double Super Bowl champion and former Volunteer quarterback laugh.
“I realize this is a unique time and probably not the perfect way for you to spend your last year,” said Manning, a 1997 Tennessee graduate with a degree in communications.
“I just encourage you to keep a positive attitude, keep working the way you do and try to take advantage of the little extra time you have to do something else or help someone in need. (There are) a lot of injured people there during this period.
“Be thankful for what you have, and just know that the University of Tennessee is proud of you and that it will support you in every way possible.” ”
According to the university, this was the first in a series of online courses scheduled throughout this semester with well-known Tennessee alumni, Vols for Life (VFL) and other friends of the university.
“Above all, Peyton wanted to cheer up people,” said Haas. “Thefts help thefts, and this is just one of the many ways an elder wanted to give back to our students. ”