Debate Insider Bob Virgil: ‘We didn’t have a roadmap’

Early in October 1992, then-Chancellor William Danforth got word that Washington University in St. Louis would be host of the Oct. 11 presidential debate. His first call was to Bob Virgil, then-dean of Olin Business School, to ask if he would chair the effort and make it happen in a little over one week’s time. That’s exactly what Virgil did, putting together a team of professionals from throughout the university and implementing the work ethic and can-do spirit that exists to this day.

“We had people who represented all parts of the university,” Virgil said. “We met every morning at the same time in the north Brookings conference room and every morning we went over ‘What are we doing?’ ‘What’s happening?’ ‘What’s bothering you?’ ‘What do we have to think about?’ ‘Are there issues we are forgetting?’

“It was fast moving,” he said. How did they do it? Just watch.

Video by Tom Malkowicz with Leslie McCarthy, producer.