While most of Messiah College, and the world for that matter, went about their normal daily routines, they had no idea that Wednesday October 21, 2009 would be different. It was a beautiful sunny fall day with temperatures in the low 70’s, a slight breeze and brilliant foliage abounding. Then at precisely high noon in the Frey Building the unthinkable occurred! Was it possible this was actually happening within the Engineering Department at Messiah College? What would be the long term consequences of something like this occurring in Frey 349, which is located on the third floor of the building? Had this type of thing ever occurred before? What would be the reactions and long term effects on the students, professors and possibly Chairman of the department in the vicinity of Frey 349. Certainly there will be many questions that will need to be answered in the days and months that follow. Here’s what we were able to learn at the preliminary juncture, shortly after “The Occurrence”:

1. Dr. Barbara Ressler was teaching an Engineering Statics Class at the time of “The Occurrence”
2. The Statics Class, consisting primarily of sophomores, was involved in “The Occurrence”
3. Dr. Timothy Van Dyke had brought his Mechanics of Materials Class to Frey 349 just prior to “The Occurrence”
4. The Mechanics of Materials Class, consisting primarily of Juniors, was involved in “The Occurrence”
5. Dr. Randall Fish, Chairman for the Department of Engineering was also present at the time of “The Occurrence”
6. Fortunately the freshman class, who have been here less than 2 months, did not witness “The Occurrence”
7. The visual impact of “The Occurrence” will be remembered for a long time

Now, a week after “The Occurrence”, more details are beginning to emerge. Apparently two years ago, at about this same time, the Engineering Statics class surprised their professor, Dr. Barbara Ressler, on her birthday with a birthday cake. Then last year Dr. Ressler decided to preempt any surprise birthday events, by founding and hosting the 1st annual Geeky T-Shirt contest. The contest was complete with food and prizes being awarded for the best and the runner-up contestants in their Geeky T-Shirts. It was a huge success with a lot of engineering type creativity and frivolity and hence a Statics Class tradition began. On Wednesday October 21, 2009 “The Occurrence” it seems was simply the 2nd Annual Geeky T-Shirt Event again hosted by Dr. Ressler with food and prizes. In fact she was indeed wearing a Geeky T-Shirt as you can see in the associated picture. It is now known that her Statics Class students were made aware of this on Friday October 16th and that a number of
them were appropriately attired in Geeky T-Shirts. It also now known that Dr. Timothy Van Dyke made his students aware of the event on Monday October 19th. He too along with a number of students was attired in a Geeky T-Shirt as you can see in the picture. There are eye witness accounts that Dr. Van Dyke’s wife, Dr. Arlene Van Dyke was also involved with the Geeky T-Shirt event, however there is no known photographic evidence and therefore cannot be substantiated. One might think this whole wacky Geeky T-Shirt event would be limited to two very excellent and dedicated Engineering Faculty members with a great sense of humor, but nooooooooooooooooo that was not the case. We now have photographic proof that implicates Dr. Randall Fish, the Engineering Department Chair. All indications are that he too as an excellent and dedicated member of the Engineering Group has a great sense of humor.

Dr. Ressler Dr. Van Dyke Dr. Fish Real & Rational NASA

Congratulations to Matthew Halburd as the Winner of the 2nd annual prestigious Geeky T-Shirt Award. Matthew won by wearing a shirt which would light up when it detected a wi-fi hot spot.
Congratulations also to Judah Fickett and Phillip Martinez as runner-ups to the Geeky T-Shirt Award.
From all indications the visual impact of this event, along with the associated rip-roarious laughter will be an event that will be remembered for students in the Statics and Mechanics of Materials classes for a long time to come.