‘Indiana Jones’ professor battles student prank with poise

Jamie Brian

Indiana Jones may have finished his last crusade, but students in Geoffrey Steinberg’s computer applications class brought the adventure films back to life.

As Steinberg, wearing a Harrison Ford-style fedora, entered the room on Wednesday, Jan. 28, some students played the “Indiana Jones” theme song in the crowded lecture hall.

A student filmed the management and information system associate professor’s dramatic entrance, and the video reached more than 1.5 million views on YouTube.

“We saw the professor walk in a week prior to doing this and realized he wore the hat that kind of resembled Indiana Jones,” said Spencer Byard, a freshman computer information systems major. “A couple of kids wanted to bring in a speaker and play the song.”

Whether temples are collapsing around him or when he’s dropped into a pit of cobras, Indiana Jones always remains calm. Steinberg proved he has more in common with the iconic movie character than taste in headgear when he brushed off the prank and started the lecture as though nothing happened.

“I don’t see it as a joke,” Steinberg said. “I see it more as an appreciation of the environment in the classroom. It’s nice that students feel that class can be fun.”

The students never imagined the video would receive so much traffic online. It held the top spot of Reddit posts and was picked up by websites including CollegeHumor and Mashable. What became an Internet phenomenon started out as just a way to lighten the mood.

“When we first posted the video Wednesday it had four views, and now it’s up to one and a half million” said Brad Williams, a freshman accounting major. “It’s crazy to think about.”

In spite of all the hype, Steinberg said he never wore the hat with the intention of being likened to the whip-wielding archaeologist. The fedora is just protection from the cold —and perhaps from resourceful college students.

“I like my students; I like teaching,” Steinberg said. “Why not have a good time?”

Contact Jamie Brian at [email protected].