Chapman University President Daniele Struppa is becoming the new “Pete the Panther.”
Chapman students have taken to wearing his image on their hats and shirts, pasting stickers of his face on their water bottles, getting posters of him for their houses, and even getting tattoos of his face. This behavior shows that a new trend is on the rise: Struppa, the meme™.
Hank Moss, a senior animation and visual effects major, created a lot of the merchandise that started this trend: “My original goal was simply to break even, so I tried to think of something that all Chapman students love. I eventually came up with Struppa himself, and ‘Stroops’ was born!”
Many wonder how Moss was able to design products that have already grossed a whole $200. “I designed the stickers by drawing Struppa out in my sketchbook and then recreating it digitally. Then I sent off the design to an online sticker company that printed the stickers- and same thing with the patches. I iron the patches onto various clothing items which I also buy in bulk online” Moss said.
Struppa was amused to discover his image has become a Chapman meme.
“Lol! Maybe I should get a percentage of their profits!!! Just kidding, of course. I am flattered that students would feel comfortable and affectionate enough to do this,” Struppa said in an email to Prowl.
In addition to wearables, students pay tribute to Struppa by hanging his image in their homes.
Sam Jones, a sophomore strategic and corporate communications major, keeps a poster of Struppa hanging in her apartment.
“I think for me and my roommates, [the meme] started because the name is kind of catchy. Then my roommate found that poster, and then we all got the stickers, and it kind of just grew.”
Christian Whittemore, a junior film production major, uses Struppa’s image to advertise his annual four-hour film festival, which was held this year on September 22 at Chapman’s Attallah Piazza. Whittemore views Struppa as a jolly authority figure who is totes meme-worthy.
The college president is not only “funny and relatable” but “an ‘in’ joke for everyone at Chapman,” Whittemore explained.
Steve Murvin, a junior finance and data analytics double major, went a step further to immortalize his college president: He got a tattoo of Struppa’s face on his thigh.. “I honor my bets and that’s what I tell people when they ask me about it- I got the tattoo because I lost a game of odds (the odds were one to five)… The bet happened at a residence life event that Struppa was at.”
“I suspect (Murvin) will eventually have to explain to a girlfriend what the picture of a bearded man is doing on his thigh,” Struppa wrote in his email to Prowl, adding, “That should be an interesting conversation. I wish I could be a fly on the wall when that happens.”
“It has not come up with romantic partners at all. At least not as of yet,” said Murvin.