University News

SUU Professor Goes Viral

April 18, 2017
Category: Academics


A Southern Utah University professor has gone viral after responding to his daughter’s “accident” at school. Ben Sowards, associate professor of illustration, was highlighted in a Twitter post by his daughter which has received over 62,000 retweets and 253,000 likes as of Monday, April 17.

In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Sowards said his wife told him that their kindergartener, Valerie, was crying at school after she had an accident there and wanted to go home. "My heart kind of just broke," he told the outlet. So, he splashed some water on his pants and headed to the school to pick her up, promptly asking his daughter for her backpack so he could hide his accident.

His daughter found it hilarious. In a simple way, her dad made her feel loved, included and confident.

Lucinda, Valerie’s 17 year old sister, tweeted pictures of her dad’s ultimate move of fatherhood and the Internet loved it. People on Twitter adored the story, saying things like “This dad is too pure for the world” and “11/10 wholesome dad”.

Taking a page from the classic Billy Madison movie, Sowards shows love and support to his eleven kids through laughter and smiles. He shows the same support to his illustration students in and out of the classroom.

Ben Sowards“Ben is a very active family man and shows that same support to his students at SUU,” said Samuel Sherrill, an illustration major from Taylorsville, Utah. “He’s an outstanding professor who takes the time to mentor students. He balances home, his personal client work, and time with students. Because of Ben, I’ve gained the confidence I needed to chase my illustration dreams.”

News outlets across the nation are sharing Sowards story, including:

In an interview with ABC 10, Lucinda praised her parents commitment to family saying everyone’s on the same team at their house.

"When one person's embarrassed, we're all embarrassed," Lucinda said. "And when one person's happy, we're all happy."

Check out Southern Utah University's YouTube page for the full interview with Sowards and his family.



Contact Information:
Nikki Koontz, assistant director of marketing
435-586-5487
nikkikoontz@suu.edu