Virginia Commonwealth University President Michael Rao, who is undergoing a performance review by an outside consultant, told reporters today that he totally just realized that his last name written backwards spells “oar,” and isn’t that the craziest thing.

Recently given a vote of confidence by VCU leaders after sparking controversy for an unusually tight confidentiality agreement, Rao said he was dumbfounded to learn that, by simply flipping the positions of the letters “R” and “O” in his last name, it became a completely new term with a meaning of, according to Webster’s Dictionary, “a lever that is used to propel and steer a boat.”

“It was weird, I was sitting there in a meeting scribbling my name on some notebook paper and started playing around with the letters and there it was: O-A-R,” said Rao, who is not a boater but remembers perhaps using an oar in a canoe a long time ago. “Not many people can say that their last name backwards spells something, much less something that is a boating tool.”

According to sources, the VCU president remains unaware that anagrams of his full name include “racial home,” “roach email,” and “ham calorie.”



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