The man behind the statement
    Photo by the author.

    Depending on your height, the first image seen on Vice President for University Relations Al Cubbage’s office door collage varies.  While some of the adornments are more recognizable, like a Chicago Tribune’s RedEye cover about the cancellation of the Human Sexuality class, the overall décor of the door says a lot about Northwestern — and Cubbage. 

    “This was a baseball game in Tokyo — I was there last year with President Schapiro,” he said then gestured to a yellow paper in the door’s center. “This is, of course, ‘Gambling scandal rocks Northwestern,’ probably 12 or 13 years ago, when seven of our former football players and basketball players were indicted for perjury and point-shaving, so that was a fun day.”

    That headline refers to when, in two separate incidents, two former basketball players and a former football player were indicted for point-shaving and four former football players were indicted on perjury charges for betting on their own games.  

    However, not everything on the door is negative. In the center of the door, there’s a Y2K warning the university prepared. It reads, “Northwestern University is closed because of Y2K-related problems” and lists several Y2K-specific hotlines for students.

    “I was in the basement of the Jacobs Center at midnight on the 31st and, you know, nothing happened,” he says. “So we had about 2,000 of these posters ready to go, but we didn’t use them.”

    There is also memorabilia from Northwestern’s sesquicentennial, or 150th birthday, placed just above the Y2K warning.

    “We had a chartered El train that went down to Wrigley Field, where we actually had 9,000 people from Northwestern go to a Cubs game,” he said. 

     A series of clippings from syndicated comics like “Zits” and “Dilbert” have their own places on top or beneath other layers of things Cubbage finds interesting, like several wristbands from Cubbage’s bike ride to Kenosha and back.

    “This is really sort of random, [it’s just] whenever something strikes my fancy,” Cubbage says.

    Whether it’s a cut quote from an article about former professor David Protess declaring that, “With all due respect, Al Cubbage doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” or a humorous road sign photo Cubbage took in Scotland, his door offers great insight into Cubbage’s humble nature and sense of humor.

    What happens when scandal hits? Read more about the inner workings of University Relations.


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