First, let me thank Dean Strikwerda for this opportunity to say a few words about Betty and her work for the College.
I came to William and Mary as Dean of the Faculty in July 1987. My preparation for the intricacies of deaning was a week-long series of meetings with my predecessor, John Selby, who knew the College inside and out. On the last day of my Selby Seminar, just as I was leaving John's office for the last time, the final thing that he said was "Above all, keep Betty Sandy. She makes this place run."
John Selby was right, and during my eight years as dean, Betty kept Arts and Sciences running. The financial records that she kept were meticulous and allowed us to know on a moment-to-moment basis the financial limits of what we could do. In financially down years, and there were many, she could find options for budget cuts so that I and my colleagues Clyde Haulman and Bob Scholnick had some choices as we tried to minimize the damage to the academic program. And Betty's expertise also served us well in financially up years. As you may know, Virginia had a "use it or lose it" attitude about annual budgets and in years when there were year-end surpluses, Betty was a master at finding clever legal ways that had the effect of transferring money across the end-of-fiscal-year boundary.
Betty's contributions went far beyond budgets. I can't recall whether she attended Arts and Sciences meetings, but she seemed able to recall whatever decision Arts and Sciences made over many years. She was a walking history book and it was reassuring that she remembered what the faculty had done even when we faculty did not.
I was also thankful for Betty's role as office manager in Arts and Sciences. Except for the three deans, everyone in the Arts and Sciences deanery reported to her, and she kept our office running smoothly. And I recall many times when a calming discussion with her kept me running smoothly, too.
For the last two years I have been department chair in mathematics and that experience has allowed me to see Betty's work from the other side. She has been extremely helpful to me in navigating the new world that our university lives in, and I owe her a second debt of gratitide for that.
Ten years go, Betty won the College's Duke award for outstanding service. I have never seen a better choice and I wish we could give the Duke Award to her again today.