Paper (heart) Boy

Perhaps you’ve seen him handing out small pink

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Fryer during finals week in the fall of 2016, where he was seen making black hearts due to stress. Photo courtesy of Lindsay Wheeler.

paper hearts or simply felt his smile radiating at you from miles away, but, regardless of how you know him, everyone at Elon seems to be familiar with one Jack Fryer.

Standing tall at 6’2”, bearing a smile and quite likely, a hug, people are starting to notice the absolute ray of sunshine that is Jack Fryer.

His gig is this: he carries a stack of paper hearts which he cuts out himself and hands them out to anyone and everyone – especially people he doesn’t previously know, and he tells them to “make it the best day of your life.” What a sentiment.

Fryer speaks to how he rose to fame this year specifically, and how last year he wasn’t as much as a notable figure on Elon’s campus. He had this to say: “I was a pretty shy kid last year, and I was still all about promoting happiness on campus, but I didn’t have the confidence. It wasn’t until I was an OL and got really involved in orientation that I realized I was the kind of person who could make a positive difference.”

Now involved in Catholic Campus Ministry and Head Staff for New Student Orientation, Fryer really feels like he’s found his place and his people on campus after a year of wondering if Elon was for him. Now, he remarks, “I didn’t have any friends my first year, but then I made an awesome choice and became an Orientation Leader. That experience helped me come out of my shell and gave me my positivity that people know me for. It gave me the confidence to wear my crazy socks every day, say hello to strangers and tell people to have the best day of their life.”

This comfort with his community is what allows him to really spread his wings and positive attitude.

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(Left to right) Fryer, Matt Chipman and Kyle McKinley advertise New Student Orientation as members of the Head Staff. Photo Courtesy of New Student Orientation.

Fryer further says, “The paper hearts were a friend’s idea, but I tried it out and people really loved it! It made peoples’ days, so I decided to do it every day and make more and more so whenever I see anyone stressed out or sad I can give one to them. I also carry bubbles on me 100% of the time as another de-stresser that some people could use if they want something fun to do.”

People who don’t even know Fryer have taken note of his radiant presence and the way he makes them feel. Sophomore Sam Chilton said, “I don’t even know Jack Fryer and he might actually be my favorite person on campus. I always pass him and his smile makes my day. I really hope we become friends someday.”

Fryer plans on continuing to spread contagious joy around campus through Orientation in the fall of 2017, and through the other things he’s involved with.
“The paper hearts thing might not last forever,” says Fryer, “but the love I have for humanity is endless, and I can ensure you that the acts of kindness I do for my community will never stop.”

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