Please scroll down. There are three posts this Thursday. A faculty member checks in with perspective on President Brodhead's international spree. And there are important developments in the Potti Mess.
✔✔✔✔ We are now in contact with a close family friend of Jay Ruckelshaus, the member of the Class of 2015 due to come to Duke in a few weeks. We reported Monday that he had suffered a critical injury when he dove into a reservoir in Fisher, Indiana, near Indianapolis, not realizing the water was only three feet deep.
We regret our initial report stated that he had been "partying drunk." The family friend who wrote FC offered this detail: "Yes, there was beer present, and some of the young men were partaking - but there was no party and they were not 'drunk'. They did drink a couple beers - but it was a small group of recent high school grads hanging out together on a hot summer evening a few weeks before heading off to college.
"Jay's classmates will all tell you he was not a partier, did not drink much at all, and was an exemplary student and friend. One of the young men is a lifeguard, and pulled Jay out of the water, saving his life. Authorities reported that they were respectful and cooperated completely. It is unfortunate that alcohol played a part in this story, but it was not a primary factor in Jay's accident."
As for Jay's injuries:
"Jay had a severe neck injury that resulted in a lengthy surgery to straighten his spine and replace a disc. He has no brain damage and is communicating with his doctors, family and friends.
"He currently has no feeling below his chest, but that's typical at this stage of recovery for his injury and it is not yet known what functionality he will have over time. It will be days or possibly weeks before we know."
And the e-mail included this information: "Jay is a wonderful young man that any parent would want their daughter to date or their son to hang out with. More than 300 people, including more than 100 of Jay's classmates turned out for a prayer service with four hours' notice Sunday evening."
There is a website to follow his progress: www.caringbridge.org/visit/JayRuckelshaus/createorsignin
Wednesday night the website included this information: "Jay is aware of the extent of his injuries, but true to Jay-Form, he was most concerned that his brain was 'ok'. The Doctors have all assured him that there is nothing at all wrong with his brain! :-) Please keep Jay and all the Ruckelshaus family in your thoughts and prayers. At this time, they are asking for cards or notes only and need no food or flowers. They would like everyone to pray for a miracle. We know that Jay is in God's hands, and Jay believes that, as well."
And this also posted on Wednesday night:
"Jay is at the beginning stages of being weaned off the ventilator. This will take several days, and until such time as he is off the vent, Jay will be unable to speak . He is 150% aware of everything (true to Jay) and communicates through a letter board. He can nod his head as well. He currently has no movement below his shoulders. The extent of his injury was a fracture-dislocation of the C-4 and C-5 vertebrae. The spinal cord has a contusion. As Jay's condition is still critical, the family indicates that there can be no visitors or flowers at this time. The Ruckelshaus family is deeply appreciative of all prayers and well-wishes.
to follow Jay's progress. There has been an outpouring of support for Jay from his incoming Duke classmates that are part of the A.B. Duke Scholarship program."
As FC reported Monday, Jay said NO to Harvard. NO to Yale. NO to the most prestigious scholarship at his home state Indiana University. Valedictorian at one of the toughest prep schools, he had a perfect math score, which we learned via a newsletter from the math department in his prep school; we do not know other scores, but can take a guess!
And as noted above, he is an Angier B. Duke Scholar. Known as Jay, his full name is John Christian Ruckelshaus IV according to the ABDuke announcement of his award.