Crossing Dudley's T's
Letter to the Editor:
Dear W&L Spectator,
I observed the following occur during W&L Alumni Reunion Weekend on Saturday (April 28, 2018) morning in Evans Dining Hall at 9:50 a.m. The alumni breakfast was taking place at that time, and Pres. Dudley was in attendance and was expected to address the gathered alumni during the breakfast period.
Dennis Cross, our Development Director at W&L, was alone, with the exception of a youngish female employee from either the development or the alumni office. They were both standing at a largish table that had been set up directly in the middle of the closed off foyer area near the entrance to the building. When I witnessed Cross in action, all the alumni guests and their spouses and left and were inside the dining hall eating and animatedly socializing with their classmates. All doors leading from the foyer, where Cross was ‘busy at work’, and where he was standing, were closed. He thought no one would be watching what he was doing, because now everyone was inside eating in the main hall, which was next door to the totally closed off foyer area. No one could see Mr. Cross from inside the great hall of the Dining Room. I unsuspectingly arrived in the foyer at the time Cross was there, coming up from the stairway which leads to the bathroom downstairs. I was in the process of exiting the building in order to travel to the Abigail Inn for the Spectator meeting.
I couldn’t help but see what Cross was doing at this time however, as I was walking out and through the foyer. He never saw me observing him, of that I am sure. At that time he was opening up a locked box that had been placed in the foyer on the table just inside the main front entrance to the dining hall. On the box (it was identical to an election ballot box in appearance) was written: “Write your questions for President Dudley.” Numerous alumni would have gone right by this table as soon as they entered the dining hall, and I’m sure many stopped to write out a question to give to Pres. Dudley. These were then all placed in the ‘ballot box’ through a slit in the top, and the lid was locked with a mini padlock. The questions were placed in white envelopes after first being sealed by the writer. Mr. Cross had taken out all of the envelopes from the ballot box, opened each one, and was reading the contents. in one of his hands he was holding the scooped out, sealed envelopes which he had just read and apparently deemed ‘acceptable’ for alumni question for Pres. Dudley, the others he threw back on the table in a haphazard and disorganized scattered pile. It was evident that these written questions for Pres. Dudley were not going to be taken into the great hall of Evans Dining Hall to be given to Pres. Dudley to comment upon. Cross had unsealed and read through each one of these alumni questions, in an environment he thought was totally secret from him being observed.
He did not see me because I was in the process of exiting the building from the men’s room stairway connecting the entrance foyer to the downstairs bathrooms. Dennis Cross thought no one was around to observe what he was doing.