An impostor at Stanford? The man pretended to be a student, living in a dormitory.


An Alabama man was recently removed from the Stanford University campus and told to stay away after officials said he was living in a dormitory even though he was not a student.

The university said the man, William Curry, was in the dorm basement on Oct. 27 when he was cited and removed. The space has both common areas and rooms for students who need to temporarily relocate from their on-campus housing.

Stanford officials said Curry has been reported on campus several times since December.

The Stanford Daily reported that Curry lived in several dormitories on campus for several months, posing as an athlete and pre-med student who had transferred from Duke University.

Curry told Stanford Daily that he was “just living a normal Stanford life, meeting people, socializing, just like in college.” The paper also reported that Curry said he had lied to people in high school about attending Stanford and that his parents thought he had been accepted there. He told Stanford Daily that he made money playing poker and trading cryptocurrencies.

Curry did not immediately respond Thursday to messages on the phone and in social networks asking for comments. A family member reached by phone declined to comment.

The first time Curry was found in the dorm, Stanford spokeswoman Dee Mostafi said he had been charged with trespassing. “Since then, the university’s Department of Public Safety has received several warrant letters, which are a prerequisite to charging someone with trespassing on campus,” she wrote in an email, “but was unable to locate him until the most recent incident in October . 27, then they gave him a letter.”

Mastofi said that going forward, “local staff will be notified when a student is assigned to a guest room so that it is clear who is allowed to enter the residence.”

A sophomore roommate told Stanford Daily that he attended a public school with Curry in suburban Birmingham, Ala., and that some people were skeptical when Curry told them he had been recruited to the varsity track team — but when he saw Curry on campus, his suspicions disappeared.

Mastofi said some staff at the dorms where Curry lived were notified about him, but there was no communication with the entire residence hall staff.

She said the university has policies and practices in place that prohibit non-students from living in residence halls, but “the unique aspects of this case, and Mr. Curry’s persistence and ability to ingratiate himself with our student community, made it clear that there were gaps in those protocols.” She said officials are reviewing procedures to make sure something like this can’t happen again.

Curry’s ex-girlfriend reported concerns to Stanford University’s Department of Public Safety in August that he had her phone password and could be tracking her, Mostoffi said. “But at that time it did not appear that there was any harassment or harassment,” the spokeswoman said. “She also stated that she did not fear for her safety.”

There have been other examples of people impersonating students over the years, including a man who admitted in 2010 that he tricked Harvard University into being accepted. At Duke University in the 1980s, the university’s Chronicle newspaper investigated an individual posing as “Baron Morris J.L. de Rothschild,” who talked about his French chateau, Maserati, and butler and wore a full-length mink coat around campus. Duke Magazine, but who was actually a 37-year-old man who also tried to pass himself off as a student at the University of Texas and University of California.

Alice Crites contributed to this report.

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