To my Beloved Mortals:
Emerging from the underworld, my weary bones have enjoyed their youthful visits across campus and into classrooms this week.
For those who have missed my appearance earlier this week, I encourage you to visit the lofty floor of Special Collections in the Woodruff Library where some of my precious treasures are now being housed. I hope all of you out there have been diligently preparing your grand costumes for my ball tomorrow night. As it is one of Emory’s greatest traditions, I expect to see each and every one of you there. I know where to find you.
I wanted to take you back 90 years into Emory’s history. In the Oct. 1908 publication of The Phoenix, I first introduced myself to the Emory community. I draw your attention to a few of my words back then:
Yes, I am a skeleton – a fleshless, bloodless, nerveless, brainless skeleton. But that’s nothing to be ashamed of. I speak from the vantage point of another world, a vast, mysterious, mystified world.
The dark part of my history began when I reached that period in life when the strength of mind is weakened by the decline of bodily vigor in old age. An old habit which I learned while campaigning seized with ever mastering power. I began drinking heavily, became physically incapacitated and finally landed in a home for inebriate incurables in Atlanta.
I curse the liquor now when I think of the shipwreck it made of the last years of my life. From the depths of bitter experience, I warn every young man and woman against its seductive wiles.
I will warn you once again that I will be watching tomorrow night.
I urge each of you to take full responsibility for your actions and the liquids you may choose to consume.
Be wise, dear mortals, for I assure you that I will still be lurking about campus even after this week is long gone.
I will eternally be STAYIN’ ALIVE (and you shall be as well – if you abide by my warning).
And as always, please remember:
Presidents may come, and presidents may go, professors may come, and professors may be squirted, students may come, and students may go – but DOOLEY lives on forever.
William M. Dooley
Illustration by Katrina Worsham