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Executive Vice President Katie Lapp Trapped Under Pile of Mulch

Lapp, who now ranks springtime as her least favorite time of the year.

Cambridge, MA--According to a recent email sent out to the students, faculty, and staff, Katie Lapp, Executive Vice President of Harvard University, is currently trapped underneath a pile of mulch somewhere in the greater Boston area.

“Dear members of the Harvard community,” reads the email, which was sent over the campus-notify email list, “While monitoring the status of the Harvard campus following several instances of springtime wind gusts, I was suddenly surrounded by a sudden vortex on the corner of Kirkland Street and Divinity Avenue. At the time, I was unaware that the first brilliant hues of springtime flora had coincided with a subsequent efflorescence of pollen. Thus, when the gust of wind swept me up into the air, I became engulfed in a whirlwind of golden dust that blinded me and hid me in a yellow tornado until I landed with a violent crash somewhere in eastern Massachusetts.”

Lapp, who supervises the financial, administrative, human resources, campus services, planning and project management, development in Allston, health services, information technology, and diversity functions of the University, repeatedly called out for help as she spun across the sky, but the thunderous barrage of wind screaming around her drowned out her cries to any passersby below. She managed to send a final email as she sped like a rocket toward the ground, only to land in a pile of mulch that a team of landscapers had forgotten on the side of an unknown road.

“We will continue to closely monitor the forecast,” added Lapp in her email.  “Should weather conditions warrant schedule changes, we will distribute information through MessageMe and email.  Updates will also be posted to the Harvard Emergency page and 866-496-NEWS.”  The message was promptly sent again by the FAS Emergency Notification System and by Leslie Kirwan, Dean for Administration and Finance at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences; Stephen Lassonde, Harvard College Dean of Student Life; five House Deans at the College; several dozen other administrators; and a newly admitted Harvard student writing on College Confidential.

Although Harvard authorities initially thought that it would be much easier to discover the Executive Vice President, they soon found that the wind was stronger than initially anticipated, and that the tracking devices that had been embedded in Lapp’s iPhone and skull had been destroyed by the pollen that buffeted her body as she traversed across the metro Boston sky. Currently, Harvard Campus Services personnel are standing sentinel to the top of William James Hall, gazing into the distance with binoculars, and throwing flares off the top of the building, shouting, “Katie!”

Image credit: Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times

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