WUFT News

UF President Participates in ALS ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’

By on August 25th, 2014

Dumping a bright orange Gatorade cooler over a coach’s head is common for athletes after a game or tournament. On Monday, two University of Florida athletes, football quarterback Jeff Driskel and volleyball player Simone Antwi, dumped a bucket of ice water onto UF President Bernie Machen.

University of Florida President Bernie Machen is doused with ice water for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Machen was nominated to participate in the nationwide campaign by Kéran Billaud, a Ph.D. student at UF.

Photo by Virgina Hamrick / WUFT News

University of Florida President Bernie Machen is doused with ice water for the ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge." Machen was nominated to participate in the nationwide campaign by Kéran Billaud, a Ph.D. student at UF.

After several nominations from students and his grandchildren, Machen took on the “Ice Bucket Challenge” to raise money and awareness for ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Machen explained ALS is one of the worst diseases still without a cure, and this challenge could raise awareness of the illness.

“This is a lot of fun, but there is something good behind it,” Machen said. “This is social media used the right way.”

In fact, social media introduced one of the students who nominated Machen to ALS.

UF Ph.D. student Kéran Billaud accepted the challenge from his niece in Alaska. Billaud admits he did not know much about ALS before the ice bucket campaign. He took on the challenge, hoping more social media users would learn about the illness, and nominated Machen to increase support.

“I told myself if you’re going to advance a cause,” Billaud said,  “you want to challenge people who are really well known.”

Billaud added students may participate after watching the video, and Machen agreed.

“I hope people will say, ‘You know, if this old guy can do it, I can do something about it as well,’” Machen said while drenched.

President Machen looked shocked after being doused with ice water. "Oh god," he exclaimed immediately after. "That is real cold water, even in sunny and hot Florida."

Photo by Virginia Hamrick / WUFT News

President Machen looked shocked after being doused with ice water. "Oh god," he exclaimed immediately after. "That is real cold water, even in sunny and hot Florida."

Machen nominated all YouTube viewers to accept the challenge as well as Cory Yeffet, president of UF Student Government, and Dave Kratzer, vice president of the UF Division of Student Affairs.


This entry was posted in Local, University of Florida and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Jessica

    I am glad they picked him as the president of my school. He seems like he is down to earth and nice.

 

More Stories in Local

Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 2.15.32 PM

Gainesville Homeless Shelters Prepare for Cold Weekend

Expecting a weekend cold snap, Gainesville homeless shelters like St. Francis House and Grace Marketplace are asking for donations to prepare for a surge of homeless people looking to stay warm.


A crowded audience of Island Field residents and trail supporters filled the Jack Durrance Auditorium at the Alachua County Administration building on Tuesday night. The County Commission voted on how to address complaints regarding use of the Barr Hammock trail.

County Commission Votes To Keep Barr Hammock Trail Open

The Alachua County Commission voted Tuesday to keep the Levy Loop Trail at the Barr Hammock Levy Prairie Preserve open year-round. Residents of Island Field, a neighborhood that borders the trail, raised concerns over noise and privacy earlier this year.


Pumpkins, whose native growing climate is in a cool and dry area, are displayed and sold at the Trinity United Methodist Church pumpkin patch. The patch, located at 4000 NW 53rd Ave., in Gainesville, is open until Oct. 30.

Imported Pumpkins Help Bring Fall Season To Florida

More than 40,000 pounds of the brightly-colored gourds arrived on a semi-truck Sept. 28 just in time for this year’s pumpkin patch. Before filling the small hay-covered courtyard at Gainesville’s Trinity United Methodist Church, the pumpkins travel 1,807 miles through [...]


Punk music festival Fest is now permitted to sell alcohol on Bo Diddley Plaza this weekend after the city of Gainesville broadened its alcohol ordinance. Fest will be held from Friday to Sunday.

Fest Expands Into Bo Diddley Plaza After Ordinance Changes

Punk music festival Fest will have bands perform for the first time at Bo Diddley Community Plaza Halloween weekend. The use of the venue comes with ordinance changes Fest organizers have been waiting three years for.


Martin Luther King III poses for photos with Eastside High School's Gospel Choir before addressing the crowd of voters at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza. “My father used to say that a voteless people is a powerless people,” he said. “One of the most important steps we can take is the step to the ballot box.”

Residents Encouraged To Vote Early At ‘Empowerment Sunday’

Voters were encouraged to take full advantage of early voting on Sunday at Gainesville’s Empowerment Sunday organized by the African American Accountability Alliance of Alachua County. Martin Luther King III attended.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments