In the 70s when college enrollment was full, chapel was the one time during the day when all students could be located. So the start of chapel was the time that notices, usually unpleasant, were delivered. A staff member would hand folded notes to the person seated at the end or the row, and the note would be passed down to the unlucky recipient.
Tom had received notes on occasion, so was not particularly worried when a note was passed to him - until he saw the message. He was to report to the president's office at his first opportunity. Tom recalls spending the entire chapel hour racking his brain trying to think what could have caused this.
During those years classes filled up quickly, and you could not always sign up for the classes you needed. Tom was particularly adept at getting the academic department to substitute one class requirement for another. So he thought one of his class substitutions might have gone a step too far. But he could not think why it would be so bad that he was bypassing the academic office and going straight to the president's office.
Not only did he have to worry about this all through chapel, but also through classes. But eventually, with great trepidation, he made his way to the president's office suite, and was ushered into President Harris's office. He took his chair and waited nervously while Dr. Harris concluded the business in front of him.
Finally the president set aside his papers and sat back in his chair. He studied Tom for a moment, and then asked, "What do you think of the Yankees chances for winning it all this year?"
When Tom told this story he said he wasn't immediately relieved. He just could not believe this was all Dr. Harris wanted to talk about. Something more must be coming. But after discussing baseball for a couple minutes, Dr. Harris told him thanks, and he could go.
30 years later, Tom said it still makes his heart stop a little. He can't quite believe Dr. Harris had planned it so elaborately. And he admitted, he still doesn't find it quite as humorous as I did.