In his four years at Indiana University Bloomington, Senior Zach Cruz has made a lot of memories during campus events like IU Dance Marathon, Little 500 and Welcome Week. He recently added one more memorable moment to his time at IU when he met IU President Michael A. McRobbie.
Cruz reached out to set up a meeting with the university's 18th president because he wanted to give him a gift for the holiday season and share his appreciation for his time at IU during which Cruz was IU's campus ambassador for Coca-Cola Company.
When McRobbie agreed to meet with him, Cruz was surprised.
"He's a busy man, so I want to applaud him for taking the time to meet with me," he said.
Cruz was able to deliver holiday goodies to McRobbie in person, including a personalized Coke bottle with "Michael" on it.
Cruz admits he was a little nervous about meeting with McRobbie.
"I didn't know what to expect or what we were even going to talk about," Cruz said.
But, after shaking hands with McRobbie, he was able to share a little bit about his time at IU and what it meant to him.
Being a campus ambassador for Coca-Cola has shaped Cruz's experience at IU over the last four years and allowed him to tap into his major in Media with a concentration in Advertising.
He gets a behind-the-scenes look at how Coke uses different themes and brands to promote their products, and sees firsthand how consumers are influenced by advertising and the quality of products.
Throughout his time on the IU Bloomington campus, Cruz has participated in many of the events that make up the typical student experience, but in a slightly different way.
During events like IU Dance Marathon, a fundraising event to support Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, Cruz could be found standing behind a table with a red tablecloth. He'd be ready to offer samples of Coke products like Minute Maid and SMART water as well as t-shirts and small fans powered by cell phones.
Cruz has learned lessons that will help him in life as a student and through his involvement in events unique to IU like meeting kids who have been cared for at Riley Children's hospital and taking part in Little 500.
"It's been a great four years -- a lot of stresses -- but that's an important part of the college life and working our way through that," Cruz said. "I feel like I've learned a lot about myself, my peers and my experiences. I'm very grateful for my time at IU."