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Help Harvard Spend Its Endowment
July 18, 2007 - 9:50am



Where Most Needed is a blog that follows what it calls "the charity industry." Its author, in a recent post, notices what UD and other observers have noticed - that more and more people are beginning to question the grotesque disparity between a few American universities endowed with billions and billions and billions of dollars, and most of the rest of the country's campuses, struggling with expenses.

Harvard, for instance, has a thirty billion dollar endowment, and, judging by the profuse glossy mailings UD's husband, a Harvard grad, gets from the school, they're desperate for more.

There's no way to justify a university accumulating the GNP of a mid-sized country; nor is there any way to justify using your own money to buff up those billions.

It's time for the rest of us to help Harvard clear its conscience and dispose of its excess. UD invites her readers to send suggestions as to worthy university recipients of Harvard's long-overdue charitable largesse.

She'll get the ball rolling with the following suggestion, inspired by this Chicago Tribune story (excerpts follow):

"Last month, when the World Monuments fund released its new watch list of the world's most endangered cultural sites, one of the biggest surprises on the list was ... Florida Southern College [designed by Frank Lloyd Wright].

...Wright designed a college campus? In Florida?

...Florida Southern boasts the largest single-site collection of the master architect's buildings - 12 structures, spanning the important later decades of his life...

...'We are a small college with a small treasury and a small endowment,' [explained Florida Southern's president, in describing why it's been so difficult to maintain the buildings].

...The 1.5 miles of esplanades are being repaired with funds from a $1.6 million state grant. And a mix of private and public funds is paying for the $700,000 restoration of Wright's Water Dome, a large fountain in the center of the campus.

But the serious fund-raising lies ahead..."

Harvard's grant of ten million dollars to Florida Southern will allow them to complete this important architectural restoration work.


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