The Rock: UT STOMP Out Bullying

Junior Natalie Campbell painted the Rock Monday to reflect the design of a Florida student who made his own shirt for College Colors Day. 

The design of a Florida boy has gone a long way in the hearts of Vol Nation.

Florida elementary school teacher Laura Snyder shared a photo of a heartbroken student on Facebook earlier this week after he was made fun of for his homemade college colors shirt, which adorned a handmade UT logo.

An outpouring of support from the Knoxville community arrived in the form of a Volunteer Proud Pack Friday. The package included notebooks, hats, a football signed by Jeremy Pruitt and letters from the volunteer community.

“My student was so amazed at all the goodies in the box. He proudly put on the jersey and one of the many hats in the box. All who saw had either goosebumps or tears while we explained that he had inspired and touched the lives of so many people,” Snyder said on Facebook Friday. “When I told him that his design was being made into a real shirt and people wanted to wear it, his jaw dropped. He had a big smile on his face, walked taller, and I could tell his confidence grew today! Thank you to the UT Nation for that!!”

The Volunteer Proud Pack wasn’t the only surprise for the student. UT’s VolShop took the boy's design and turned it into a t-shirt, with a portion of the sales benefiting STOMP Out Bullying. Within hours of the shirt’s availability for pre-order, the VolShop website crashed. Over 16,000 shirts have been pre-ordered, and the VolShop announced Monday that all of the proceeds from the shirts will benefit the bullying prevention organization at the request of the student’s family.

“As the Volunteers, the University of Tennessee believes in putting others before ourselves. We’re so glad we were able to support this student, put a smile on his face and bring more orange into his life,” Director of Media Relations Tyra Haag said. “In the true spirit of UT, alumni, fans and honorary Volunteers around the world have stepped up.”

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