The house that Wood built
The Cavalier Daily bids adieu to University spokesperson Carol Wood
Over Carr’s Hill, University spokesperson Carol Wood announced to a grandmother’s house she’ll go — after serving the University for 17 years, she is moving to Alabama to be near her grandchildren. The retiring of such a prominent figure made Tuesday’s front page news; it also deserves a measure of appreciation on behalf of us and a generation of Cavalier Daily reporters who benefited from Wood’s generosity.
The University does not have a journalism program; for aspiring reporters, the closest thing to a professional resource is the Office of Public Affairs. Wood, in her capacity overseeing this office, was a liaison who gave our paper legitimacy by offering us the same opportunities afforded to other newspapers.
The stories she helped oversee at UVa Today were a daily supply of information that set a benchmark for University journalism. Her willingness to field all questions; to explicate all ambiguities; to stay on-the-record and on-the-line during crises into the night have long made her the primary source for our articles. In our office, Wood is known as the most quotable University person – not only because she would always talk to us but because what she said was so memorable.
The events unfolding in June were perhaps the most prominent example of Wood looking out for our paper. Professional reporters came into town and things soon became crowded. The rooms overflowed — but Wood saved seats for The Cavalier Daily and kept us in the continual know, including handing out press releases and writing articles for UVa Today. She also processed our Freedom of Information Act request for Board of Visitors emails in a manner that was incredibly timely.
Wood is as familiar with our paper as anyone. She has furnished memories and stories for us and years of alumni — for whom her name evokes a tradition of common affection. Besides being a wellspring of University news, events and developments, she has also been a source of style and good-humored kindness.
Wood leaves town Thursday but will telecommute through the new year. On behalf of all of us, including graduates who would have wanted to say goodbye had they been here — thank you, Carol. Your presence will be missed.