Come up to the biology lab and see what’s on the slab! We’re talking about Emory University at Oxford’s biology lab, of course, where a spook named Dooley resides. Haven’t heard of the infamous imp? The Lord (his formal title is James W. Dooley, The Lord of Misrule, and don’t you forget it) is said to stalk the campus of Oxford College and Emory University, inciting good-natured riots and getting students out of class. But how did this fun-loving skeleton come to pass?
Lord Dooley, also known as the “Spirit of Emory”, originated in Oxford, Georgia and acts as Emory University's unofficial mascot. Dooley was first mentioned in the school newspaper, the Emory Phoenix in 1899, when he published his adventures as a biology lab skeleton. His first physical manifestation was in 1941, for the first inaugural “Dooley’s Week”, where the skeleton runs amuck across campus, letting students out of classes at any time. He’s also been known to haunt the annual Town Hall Meeting, in the fall.
The Lord borrows his first name and middle initial from the first and last name of the sitting president of Emory University, hence the name James W. Dooley. Dooley is represented by a student in a skeleton costume with a black cape, top hat, and white gloves, and is always flanked by students acting as bodyguards. A crouched stance, slow walk, and his signature bent cane topped with a brown skull and his habit of making public appearances at Oxford by emerging out of a coffin, make James W. Dooley one macabre mascot.
But, no need to fear. Today, Dooley acts as a kind of campus ambassador, making frequent appearances at social functions and other Oxford events. Sometimes, Dooley will even pass along messages for a designated student to read to the student body, praising the students for their individual achievements. It’s like they say down at Oxford:
“Presidents may come, presidents may go; professors may come, professors may go; students may come, students may go; but Dooley goes on forever!”