Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Graffiti of the Philanthropic Class

I can't take credit for the title phrase - I just saw it in a New York Times article by Charles Isherwood (December 2, 2007). In his article, Mr. Isherwood describes how every nook and cranny of cultural buildings these days seem to be scrawled with a donor's name: the staircase, the coat check room, the balconies... are water fountains and bathrooms next?

I found this tidbit particularly hilarious - fundraising so that areas of a building would NOT be named for a donor:

As The Associated Press reported last month, the dean at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business couldn’t find anyone to pony up a cool $50 million to get his or her name on the school. So the dean switched strategies and discovered that several givers were willing to chip in to ensure that, for 20 years at least, the school would not be personally branded, but would instead simply remain the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business (a long enough handle, surely). The non-naming fund eventually reached $85 million.

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