Quirky Gifts Limit University Spending

Earlier this year the federal government started investigating the finances of America’s largest universities, a practice that is shedding light on how gifts from wealthy donors often have quirky strings attached that limit how colleges can spend their money.

Like the guy whose endowment to Princeton is currently valued at $33 million, but can only be spent on stuff related to Greece. Or the Dartmouth alum who mandated that his donation to the English Department be used to provide daily afternoon tea for students and faculty. How civilized!

I’m curious about what possibly questionable limits Wesleyan’s benefactors put on the spending of their money. A throwaway line in PCU comes to mind, where the ultra-PC president of Wesleyan’s doppelganger proposes to spend an endowment surplus on a brand-new Bisexual Asian Studies building.

In all fairness, our Bisexual Asian Studies program is pretty badly underfunded as it is. Seriously though, what’s up Board of Trustees?

Full NYTimes Article: When Strings Attached, Quirky Gifts Can Limit Universities

12 thoughts on “Quirky Gifts Limit University Spending

  1. Anonymous

    It depends on each state’s individual laws regarding donations. In CT, once a gift is given, the recipient does not need to use the gift as stipulated; it does so only because it chooses to. Yale could have simply ignored the Railroad Chair, and Wesleyan has ignored donors’ intentions many times.Many of the senior awards used to have money attached. Several years ago, Wesleyan scooped up all that money for general spending.We also see this in Wesleyan’s building names, where Rich Hall because the ’92 Theater which became the Patricelli ’92, and Harriman Hall became Andrus, while Bell-Scott Labs became Davenport, and so on.So word to the wise, once you give Wesleyan a gift, they can do with it as they please.

  2. Anonymous

    It depends on each state’s individual laws regarding donations. In CT, once a gift is given, the recipient does not need to use the gift as stipulated; it does so only because it chooses to. Yale could have simply ignored the Railroad Chair, and Wesleyan has ignored donors’ intentions many times.

    Many of the senior awards used to have money attached. Several years ago, Wesleyan scooped up all that money for general spending.

    We also see this in Wesleyan’s building names, where Rich Hall because the ’92 Theater which became the Patricelli ’92, and Harriman Hall became Andrus, while Bell-Scott Labs became Davenport, and so on.

    So word to the wise, once you give Wesleyan a gift, they can do with it as they please.

  3. Anonymous

    I swear I heard that the person who donated our bleachers stipulated that we couldn’t build anything on Andrus. Maybe I made this up

  4. Anonymous

    I swear I heard that the person who donated our bleachers stipulated that we couldn’t build anything on Andrus. Maybe I made this up

  5. Anonymous

    as a bisexual asian, I am glad you’ve decided to bring forth this issue.(I’m not kidding).

  6. Anonymous

    as a bisexual asian, I am glad you’ve decided to bring forth this issue.

    (I’m not kidding).

  7. Anonymous

    i’m surprised this didn’t mention wellesley’s donation that is to be used strictly for serving ice cream at all meals every day.

  8. Anonymous

    i’m surprised this didn’t mention wellesley’s donation that is to be used strictly for serving ice cream at all meals every day.

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