• • •
Robert Long ’75, one of the first Black students
to attend Woodberry and a member of the board
of trustees since 2012, said adding language
about racism to the Blue Book would help set clear
standards and give the school a better way to
measure whether it is living up to its actions.
“Where I feel challenged is that during the time
I’ve been associated with Woodberry’s board,
people have been feeling not welcomed or not
good about the culture,” Rob said. “And that was
a blind spot for me, and I’m seeing that there was
work to do on the climate.”
Broderick Dunn ’00 was one of the alumni who
shared a story with Black at WFS.
“The first time that I was ever called the
N-word in anger was my freshman year on A
Dorm. I was wrestling with a classmate who also
happened to be a third-generation, legacy student
and the grandson of a former Congressman. He
got angry and told me, ‘all you will ever be is a
n****r.’ I responded by hitting him and we both
got demerits. To this day, his words still sting. I
ended up graduating while he left school after
sophomore year. Woodberry is my school just as
much as it was his, and I refuse to let his actions
define my Woodberry experience.”
Broderick, a lawyer who lives in Fairfax County,
Virginia, said it was frustrating to hear that
students today were experiencing the same thing
that happened to him more than twenty years ago.
“Being on Zoom calls and seeing the storieson the Instagram page, I was shocked to hearthem, frankly, because I think Woodberry hasmade a lot of good progress,” Broderick said.
“And then to hear that boys have heard people
use the N-word or to hear a recent Black alumnus
say he’s so disconnected from the Woodberry
experience that he’d be hesitant to contact a non-
Black alumnus on LinkedIn for fear of how he’d be
received disappointed me.”
Broderick, who serves as a class agent and on
the board of the Capitol Regional Association,
encouraged alumni to reach out to classmates or
fellow Tigers in their area and make sure everyone
felt like they were part of the alumni brotherhood.
He also said something that Josh and manyother students and alumni have repeated in thepast few months: Sharing these stories is an actof love, one that stems from a desire to makeWoodberry a stronger, more inclusive place.
“Obviously I love Woodberry,” Broderick said.“I think we’re in a good place, but we have todo better. I really don’t think we can considerWoodberry to be a complete success untilevery member of the community feels known,challenged, and loved.”
The Caucus, 2013
Broderick Dunn ’00, Stewart Verdery ’85, and Doug Gabbert ’08