More than 230 people contributed to the gift so that 65-year-old Herman Gordon and his spouse Denise, 56, could travel to Herman’s home country, Jamaica.
In a note addressed to him, they said: “Dear Herman, on behalf of the students at Bristol, we would like to thank you for all the positive energy you have given to us throughout the years.
“You have brightened many of our days and we want you to know that we love and appreciate you.
“We have come together to give you a special gift as our way of saying thank you. Have a lovely summer.”
A crowdfunding page – describing Herman as “the epitome of happiness” – set up for him on JustGiving. It reached its target of £1,500 in five days.
Twenty-year-old medicine student at Bristol, Hadi Al-Zubaidi, who started the fundraising drive, told the BBC’s Newsbeat: “It just went crazy. I myself was shocked that he was this famous!”
“He spends the whole time being nice to everybody, it’s about time we were nice to him.”
In a video watched 35,000 times on Facebook, Herman, who has worked at the university for twelve years, was presented with a white envelope stuffed with money.
The footage showed him wiping his eyes and shaking his head in apparent disbelief at receiving the sum of money.
Speaking afterwards, he said: “Thank you very much, my students. Thank you for much for what you’ve done for me… may God bless you all.”
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A much-loved cleaner has wept after students at the University of Bristol raised £1,500 to send him and his wife, a Methodist Church minister, on holiday.