WATCH: Graduating student launches into YouTube infamy with face-planting backflip fail

Sterling Beard
Director of Journalism Training

  • Student says stunt was not meant to be disrespectful.
  • While most college students jump for joy when they graduate, one Davenport University student took his celebration to the next level.

    Moments after receiving his diploma Sunday afternoon, Robert Jeffrey Blank took off his mortar board, threw his arms up in the air and launched himself into YouTube infamy.

    Blank attempted to perform a backflip about three hours into the university’s commencement. However, the newly minted graduate miscalculated and instead ended up face-planting with a loud bang.

    Though Blank startled the hundreds-strong crowd and faculty on stage, he was uninjured. He quickly collected himself and walked off-stage to applause.

    WATCH: Student fails backflip during commencement

    According to Blank, he did not plan the stunt in advance and it was not meant to be disrespectful.

    “It was just such a great feeling and there was an opening on the platform and back I went,” Blank told WZZM.

    Blank blamed the failure on the graduation robes. He later successfully backflipped for WZZM.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @SterlingCBeard





    Sterling Beard

    Sterling Beard

    Director of Journalism Training
    Sterling Beard is Campus Reform's Director of Journalism Training. Prior to joining Campus Reform, he spent time as an editorial associate for National Review Online and as a staff writer at The Hill, where he served as the Intercollegiate Studies Institute's Lyn Nofziger Fellow and regularly appeared across the country on Fox News Radio to provide analysis of current events. In 2017, Sterling was named to The Chronicle of Higher Education's Influence List, one of nine people who "affected federal policy, campus culture, and the national conversation about education in 2017 — and who are likely to remain influential in the year ahead."
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