What started as a joke for soon-to-be college freshman Taylor Baumstark turned into a Twitter campaign that persuaded her to become a Saint instead of a Bear.
Baumstark, who had been trying to decide between Maryville University and Missouri State University as her college of choice, tweeted for help. What happened next is the stuff of social media legends.
send help pic.twitter.com/RGDsi1Wvpx
— taylor baumstark (@taybaum9) March 30, 2017
This first tweet by Taylor generated over 130 likes and 30 replies. Some by Missouri State University students, but the majority came from Maryville University students and faculty.
“I posted it as a joke because I had discussed the consideration of switching schools last second with all of my friends, but I never expected to get so much feedback,” Baumstark says. “I assumed that some of my friends would argue over it, just joking around. I was honestly shocked when Maryville favorited my pictures at first. I had to leave my phone after I saw the initial favorite to go to soccer practice, and when I came back after practice was over, my Twitter had completely blown up.”
One student replied to Baumstark that she didn’t regret choosing Maryville:
— Yang (@mellio15) March 30, 2017
One student from California offered his viewpoint:
— Thomas Blick (@tblick10) March 30, 2017
Another tweeted about the dedication of Maryville’s life coaches to their students:
— katelyn (@katelyncornell) March 30, 2017
There was a post about Maryville’s national championship:
— Tyler Henson (@T_HensXC) March 30, 2017
And even student organizations from Maryville got into the act:
— CONNECT (@CONNECT_MU) March 30, 2017
Baumstark says the profusion of interaction and feedback from Maryville University students swayed her decision.
“I think the passion from some of the students and staff on Twitter gave me a little nudge in the direction of Maryville. I mean if all these people love it, I will too, right?” Baumstark says.
— taylor baumstark (@taybaum9) March 31, 2017
To celebrate her decision, Maryville students threw her a surprise party the following day.
“I was told I was just coming to pick up some free Dan + Shay tickets I was offered when I went by campus to turn in some other documents to the admissions office. When I walked in, I saw a crowd of people walking by,” she says. “I assumed it was a tour group or something. I never thought they were there for me. I opened the door and they all started cheering and clapping. I didn’t know what to do.”
— Maryville University (@MaryvilleU) March 31, 2017