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University of South Carolina's 'Boom Box Guy' Leaves Students With Encouraging Words

by   May 31, 2014 14:55 PM EDT

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For a decade, Jeremiah Shepherd, better known as Boom Box Guy JJ, has added some flare to the campus of the University of South Carolina with, you guessed it, a boom box. 

Shepherd, 28, became a fixture around campus while pursuing his undergraduate and graduate degrees. He was often seen wandering across the USC campus blasting music from an "old beat-up boom box" once owned by a bricklayer. 

What would later become Shepherd's legacy all began when he and a friend first enrolled at the university and decided to liven things up. 

As Shepherd says, the two were "saddened at the lack of craziness and characters we both assumed were going to be a hallmark of college life." 

According to USA Today College, making people happy was Shepherd's motivation to continue his antics. 

"Our original thought was that everyone was going to hate it because it was so obnoxious, and we were going to have to leave like a bat out of hell," Shepherd explained. "However, we found that people absolutely liked it, loved it and wanted some more of it. Walking by most people we were able to break those chains and make them happy. Sure there were some that wanted us dead or alive, and there still are, but we found that if we could make folks happy, then it was worth it." 

Though many are sad to see him go and the campus will now return to an eerie quietness, Shepherd took to Facebook late last semester to offer up some kind words to those he will leave behind at USC. 

"One thing I know for sure is I will always be your Boom Box Guy, because the spirit of the boom box will always live on. Every one of you has that spirit. The side of you that stops caring about what others think and can fearlessly walk to your own song. The part of you that can pause, forget about your troubles for a moment and make another person smile. The piece of you that chooses neither right nor wrong, but chooses what is awesome. I expressed these by hoisting a boom box onto my shoulder and carrying it around week after week for years. I encourage all of you to express that part of yourself in your own way. That is the spirit of the boom box, and that will live on forever."

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