Chapman University students surprise professor in heartwarming video

Since being posted on TikTok, the video has gained over 23 million views.
ORANGE, Calif. (KABC) -- In a heartwarming Zoom surprise, students at Chapman University thanked their professor for having such a meaningful impact on their lives.

During their last class of the semester, the college students wrote "thank you" notes to Dr. James Brown, the professor of their First Year Foundations course.

At first, the students had their cameras turned off, confusing their professor.

"I don't see anyone with their camera on, is this kind of the new cool thing to do, not turn your camera on? Seriously, is it my fault that you have your cameras off?" asked Dr. Brown.

Then, a student announced that the class had a surprise for him, revealing their individual messages on screen.

"Aw you guys, you're gonna make me cry," said Dr. Brown after his students turned their cameras on. "I'm reading each one."

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Dr. Brown and his wife have been at Chapman University for over 25 years. His students say despite the many rough patches with online learning, they wanted to thank him for still managing to make such a huge impact on them.

In a statement to Eyewitness News, Dr. Brown said he was just doing his job to teach his students the best way he knew how:

"Of course, it has been a challenging semester for both students and faculty members including learning new systems of instructional delivery on top of all the stresses and strains of life in America in 2020, especially COVID and the presidential election..."I wish I could say I found some type of special, original, or otherwise unique approach that addresses these challenges that might be applicable to lots of situations. But what I did was just what I do every semester. I selected what I thought would be relevant curriculum and tried to present it in an interesting and engaging way."

Since being posted on TikTok, the video has gained over 23 million views.
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