Monday, September 8, 2014

In another example...

...of bringing coals to Newcastle, the Times reports this morning, "Hong Kong Group to Give Harvard’s School of Public Health $350 Million."

Since Harvard has the largest endowment of any American university, at roughly $32 billion, that gift amounts to about one percent, or in other words, a rounding error. From the article (my emphasis):

Harvard University on Monday will announce the largest gift in its history, $350 million to the School of Public Health, from a group controlled by a wealthy Hong Kong family, one member of which earned graduate degrees at the university.

Drew Gilpin Faust, Harvard’s president, said the gift by the Morningside Foundation, directed to a relatively small part of the university, would have a profound effect on the School of Public Health in Boston, giving it a stable financial base and the ability to give students more financial aid while expanding programs in several fields.

Who's Ms. Faust kidding? Couldn't Harvard just find that money between the cushions of some couch? And why did that family give the money after one of its members graduated? Isn't that a little like closing the barn door after the horse got out? Seriously, isn't there a more deserving charity in the world than Harvard? As I've mentioned before, with an endowment like that, maybe they should be the ones doling out the cash.

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