Lee, 44, and the university president were at a fundraising event, and Lee realized that there were other people waiting to talk to them. Forgetting for a moment that this was a professional and not a personal context, Lee went in for the hug instead of the handshake.

He can still recall in vivid detail what happened next.

“It was a long moment for me because halfway in, I realized what was about to happen. At that point, however, my body had already hit his outstretched arm that was expecting a handshake, and I knew that I couldn’t call it off. I completed the awkward, inappropriate embrace,” he wrote in an e-mail.