One of the cornerstones of the internet, especially among Generation Y and Z, is meme culture, and the students at The Master’s University are no exception. The campus has developed a rich meme culture.
A primary contributor to the student body’s sophisticated understanding of internet humor is the Master’s Memes.
TMU student Luke Maycumber said, “They use humor, through the memes… [so] that students have laughter in their day.”
This humble little meme page has been around since 2012, starting on Facebook and moving to Instagram, and has become something students look forward to every week.
It currently has 3,500 followers between both accounts and has become large enough for memorabilia in the form of t-shirts, for example. Despite its popularity on campus, the mastermind behind Master’s Memes remains anonymous. Not even those who sell their stuff know.
The current owner was given the pages in spring 2020 by Ethan Berthiaume and wishes to remain anonymous so he can both make memes for the students and enjoy college life as a normal student.
“It’s really part of the fun of it … to hear friends talk about you or show you your own memes without them knowing who they’re talking to,” according to Master’s Memes. “If people knew I was Master’s Memes, the entire dynamic of multiple friendships would change.”
Almost every meme posted is created by the head of the page, with most of the submissions being delegated to the story section. However, if he deems them worthy, he will post high-quality submissions to the main page.
Kirsten Maske, another TMU student said, “They’re pretty entertaining… I always look forward to seeing the memes pop up in my feed.”
He’s developed a high understanding of meme creation over the past year, to the point that he can “crank out a fairly decent quality photoshop during chapel in under five minutes.”
Master’s Memes has developed into a large part of the campus experience for both students and the faculty, so much so that even Dr. John MacArthur was directly involved in a meme recently.
“I think one of the cool things about the page is that it’s something that staff, students and faculty can all come together on and enjoy,” Master’s Memes said. “I feel like it’s become a pretty central part of the student experience, and unfortunately due to communication breakdowns, it’s become a main source of news for things on campus.”
The most significant impact of Master’s Memes is how it draws people together. The memes are based on the culture of the campus so the page can be viewed as an amalgamation of campus culture.
“I know sharing with my friends always gets a good laugh and that it just builds up the community,” Maske added.
Almost every student on campus has seen the meme page and gets a good laugh out of it. Even if some students think Master’s Memes doesn’t always hit bullseye, they can still find something to laugh about.
According to TMU sophomore Camden Specht, “Hearing [John MacArthur] say meme lord and dank was the highlight of my life.”
It has become a place where students can bond over shared experiences through a comedic lens, whether that be silly videos on the page or events that happen on campus.
“The reason why a meme is funny at its core is because it’s about something everyone can relate to and that’s a really powerful thing,” Master’s Memes said. “As ironic of a premise as it may be, the meme page actually does have the power to unify people around campus and show that we’re not all so different from each other.”
There are some who don’t see the appeal or significance of Master’s Memes, and some even get offended by some of the humor. While there hasn’t been a strong pushback, that’s not to say there hasn’t been any at all.
According to Master’s Memes, “Generally it’s from people who don’t understand irony … I try to make it a point to start a dialogue about their issues and explain where I’m coming from on the matter.”
He also said his jokes aren’t made with malicious intent, mostly pointing out things he thinks are silly saying, “ I believe in The Master’s University … though it may have problems … I think it’s a genuinely great place and I want to help build up the school in any way possible.”
Master’s Memes has made it clear they mean no ill will toward the campus and its faculty, and this is evident among the student body who actively follows them. Even if he takes jabs at parts of the campus, the students know it’s all in good fun.
“Master’s Meme is very careful about what they post,” Maycumber said. “I haven’t seen anything that detracts from what they’re adding to the campus.”
Despite a bit of backlash, Master’s Memes has become a significant aspect of campus life. It has become something the creator of Master’s Memes deeply cherishes.
Master’s Memes has a message for the students and faculty that have enjoyed his work.
“Running this page has easily been the greatest adventure I’ve had at Masters. It’s given me so many wild moments and strange friendships; my life actually feels like a movie at points. I can genuinely say I’ve done things here that would make your jaw drop if you knew my whole story. There’s so much more that goes on behind the scenes than most people will never know. Wish I could elaborate, but unfortunately my role requires me to keep a wide variety of secrets. To those who wonder who I am: just wait, all will be revealed in due time. And don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere, the best is yet to come! Love you guys!”