The Story Behind the ‘iWheel’

36 cardboard iMac boxes, packing tape and ingenuity created a viral photo viewed millions of times

Photo by Jeremy Lloyd, George Fox University
Photo by Jeremy Lloyd, George Fox University

Update 8/4/15: The Internet asked for it so we made it! Here it is, video of the iWheel in motion.


For more than a year, George Fox University systems administrator Mike Campadore had an idea and 34 iMac boxes stored in the back of an engineering classroom. When the dean of the engineering school asked why he didn’t recycle them and clear up the space, he merely said he was saving them for a project.

When more computers arrived in July for a new computer lab, Campadore finally had the boxes he needed to make his “iWheel.” He had estimated it would take 38 boxes to create the perfect wheel, but when he taped together the two sides, he discovered the number was 36.

On his first attempt, he left the Styrofoam inside the boxes, but it made the wheel too heavy. Even without the extra weight, he estimates the finished product weighs 120 pounds and is nearly nine feet tall.

Finally, on Friday, July 31, Campadore asked IT coworker Rich Bass to help him complete the wheel. The two then rolled it out onto the campus quad and made a call to the university marketing department, which sent a photographer. The initial Facebook post was successful, but when a former student shared it on Reddit, the iWheel went viral. Within a matter of hours the photo had been viewed 3.4 million times on Imgur, was trending on Tumblr, was posted on Twitter by Chris Espinosa (well-known as Apple’s longest tenured employee) and retweeted more than 8,000 times …


… and was even shared on Pee-wee Herman’s Facebook page, of all places:

LOOK! A Human Hamster Wheel of iMac Boxes!!http://peewee.com/2015/08/02/look-a-human-hamster-wheel-of-imac-boxes/

Posted by Pee-wee Herman on Sunday, August 2, 2015

By the end of the weekend, a reverse image search on Google yielded more than 1,300 results. Meanwhile, nearly 3,000 comments were made on Reddit, ranging from praise for Campadore’s creativity to the endless Apple-PC argument to critiques of their apparel. Campadore found it amusing that some of the commenters wanted him fired for putting three of the boxes backwards.

The image also became Photoshop fodder for many, who inserted the iWheel into eclectic locations and situations (see more at end of post):

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Campadore and Bass, who posed in the wheel for the photo, became minor celebrities. By Sunday, Bass was spotted by a stranger in a Home Depot and asked if he was the guy in the iWheel.

Campadore – who used four hours of vacation time to build his creation – dreams he can customize his iWheel to include plastic pipe rails that would allow him to put a revolving chair in the inside of the contraption. And, if he could pull it off, he’d like to make it rocket propelled – an idea that’s sure to keep the Internet’s Photoshop hobbyists busy.

*** More from the Reddit PSBattle thread ***

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My Be Known Story

By Amy Massingale (Class of 2017) Amy

Here at George Fox we live by the motto, “Be Known.” It isn’t just something that we say to lure students into our school, it is something that is lived out every single day by our staff and students. I have never been a part of a community that is so driven to get to know who I am, not only as a student, but also as a person.

I have many Be Known stories from my short time here at Fox, but the one that stands out to me the most came from the first semester of my sophomore year. I walked into my Christian Foundations class and was greeted by Dr. Anderson Campbell. He told us to fill out an index card with our name and a prayer request; he said that this was the way that he was going to be taking attendance for the rest of the year. At first I didn’t think anything of it – I thought it was just a clever way to take attendance without having to take time out of class.
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Scholarship Competition from a different perspective

imageBy Alexis Cavanaugh (Class of 2017)

Every year, George Fox invites incoming students to participate in Scholarship Competition. This is a two-weekend event where students come to campus to compete for leadership and academic scholarships. When I competed a couple years back, I remember feeling all the nerves, wanting to say the right words, and just the crazy feeling of being at a place that could potentially be my home for the next four years.

Well, things have come full circle now that I work in admissions as an intern, and I got to help with both weekend events. It was a really neat experience getting to see all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into these weekends. The whole admissions team works really hard to make sure everything is set up and ready to go for when the students arrive on campus. It felt really great to be able to be a part of such a memorable weekend for students.

However, I think my favorite part of the whole experience was being an evening host. Evening hosts are students or interns on campus that hang out with the preview students that don’t plan on staying the night but still want to experience campus life a little more.
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George Fox Student Coauthors Engineering Book

Junior engineering major Dieter Mueller with his new book, Atlas of the Four-Bar Linkage.
Junior engineering major Dieter Mueller with his new book, Atlas of the Four-Bar Linkage.
By Sean Patterson

While strolling through an American Society of Mechanical Engineering expo in Montreal recently, George Fox engineering dean Bob Harder chanced upon a book that caught his eye – not so much because of the title, but because of the author’s familiar name.

The book, Atlas of the Four-Bar Linkage, was coauthored by Dieter Mueller, which just so happened to be the name of one of Harder’s engineering students. “I thought, ‘What a coincidence. He must be some German guru on kinematics who happens to have the exact same name as one of our computer engineering students,’” Harder reasoned.

Upon closer inspection, however, Harder noticed the display booth showcasing the book was from Saltire Software of Tigard, Ore., whose president, Phillip Todd, had attended George Fox’s Engineering Expo and Reverse Career Fair in December of 2013. Todd attended the event seeking an intern for the following summer – an intern who ended up being Dieter Mueller.
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Reaching out from across the globe

GoFundMe-2George Fox sophomore Vlada Wilson is working to raise funds for a family she has never met

By Vlada Wilson

On Dec. 13 I got a Skype call from my family in Ukraine, thinking that it would be the usual, ordinary phone call. But it turned out to be the opposite. I was told of the story of Arceny Bakun, who is a 22-month-old boy with severe lymphoblastic leukemia. Most children at his age are at home with their mom and dad, playing outside with the neighborhood kids or playing with their toys inside the house. Unfortunately, Arceny hasn’t been able to do either of those things because the Kyiv Regional Oncology Center has been his home for more than half of his life.

Arceny’s story has been on numerous new stations in Ukraine, and has gained great attention on Ukraine’s version of Facebook. Fortunately, a bone marrow donor has been found, but the real trouble for the family has been collecting 130,000 euros for the operation. Currently, Arceny is on his fifth dose of chemotherapy while his mom and dad are waiting for the funds to come in. So far they have collected almost 96,000 euros in donations, but they still have more than 34,000 euros left to collect.
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Financial Aid 101

James Oshiro-3By James Oshiro
Director of Financial Aid, George Fox University

While many students start thinking about the college/university they are interested in attending at the end of their junior year and start of their senior year of high school, very few are thinking about how they will afford college and the college financial aid process.

When does the college financial aid process start? It really should start many years before a student’s senior year of high school. Saving for college early is probably the best step a family or student can take to be able to afford the school of their choice. College savings accounts (such as 529 accounts) are a great way to invest for one’s future education. (more…)

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Christmas on Campus

Alexis (right) and friends celebrate the holidays together.
Alexis (right) and friends celebrate the holidays together.
By Alexis Cavanaugh (sophomore psychology major)

When school starts in August, it always seems that it will take forever to get to this point, but it feels like it comes faster and faster every year. As the month of December rolls around, so does the end of the fall semester. During this time of year, students are turning in their last assignments, staying up late studying, working and gearing up for finals week.

In the midst of all this, it can be hard to remember what the Christmas season is truly all about: celebrating Jesus and his birth. It can be hard to be in the best of moods when you know there is a big project due the next day and you have limited time to get it done. However, that feeling never seems to last long on campus.
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Student Success Story: Brooke Nolte

IMG_4166-2After graduating in December, Nolte will join the core advocacy team at Micah Challenge USA

As Brooke Nolte, a senior sociology major puts it, “It’s one thing to sit in class and learn about the injustices in the world; it’s another to actively engage in addressing those issues.”

As a grassroots advocacy intern with Micah Challenge USA, an organization that pursues justice on behalf of the world’s poor, Brooke reaches out to colleges, churches and individuals to encourage them to join the fight against global poverty. Micah Challenge USA organizes campaigns and events that educate, bring awareness and foster action for the cause. It’s a pursuit Brooke will continue upon graduating from George Fox in December, as she’s been offered a paid position on the organization’s core advocacy team.

Recently we sat down with Brooke to ask about her passion for the world’s poor and to reflect on her George Fox experience.
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‘You have no idea!’

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 1.35.10 PMBy Heather Kurtz (Class of 2015)

This past month I had the awesome opportunity to represent George Fox University at two college fairs for high school students and their parents. With a great table layout and a head full of relevant facts, I was ready to use my education in marketing for our school’s benefit. After answering a plethora of questions and sharing my own “Be Known” story with others, I realized something so exciting: these high school students have no idea how George Fox University will impact them.

Putting myself in their shoes, four years ago when I was a high school senior, I remember being overwhelmed with making the most important choice of where my new home would be for the next few years. (more…)

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My Experience: Aaron Belz Comes to Campus

Devon HalvorsonBy Devon Halvorson

This week while skimming through the Daily Bruin announcements I saw that Aaron Belz would be coming to George Fox to read from his newly published book, Glitter Bomb, and give a lecture on laughter. Aaron Belz is a social commentator and poet. I have read some of his poetry before and was excited to check out the event.

Listening to his poems and lecture turned out to be even better than I had expected. From the poems of his I have read, he seemed to be very witty and clever, but listening to him read his book in person made each poem 10 times better. Aaron was so funny and real with the audience. Many of his poems are straightforward and simple, but he was really able to capture the audience and had us all smiling and laughing.

One thing I love about Fox is that there is ALWAYS some kind of event going on. Almost every weekend there are activities that Fox’s student government (ASC) plans, and even on the weekdays there are a handful of speakers or performances to attend.

Being at college is a unique time that offers a lot of opportunity you may not otherwise have. We are given the chance to experience speakers like Aaron Belz, whose poetry had been published in journals all over the U.S. – definitely not something you get to do every day. I think it is really fun to take advantage of these chances while they are at our fingertips.

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