June 2, 2020
I graduated from Princeton in 1981. Out of the 1,100 or so classmates who graduated with me, I am one of only seven who have donated to the Annual Giving fund every year since graduation. It’s never much (and, four years ago, in protest against the elimination of the Sprint Football program (known as 150 Football when I was an undergrad), I gave $1.50).
For our 25th Reunion, a bunch of my truly wealthy classmates led an initiative to raise enough money to build a dorm (with the catchy name “1981 Hall”). That year, any classmate who gave ANY amount to Annual Giving was rewarded with his/her name on a plaque in the entrance hall. Guess what my $100 got me?
I gotta say, though, it gets harder and harder every year to give money to Old Nassau, whose endowment is about $26 billion (about the same as El Salvador’s GDP).
I contribute to a number of charitable causes (my church, the local high school, the Vermont Foodbank, and ChildFund), all of which are far more in need of my measly few bucks than Princeton. Does it truly make any sense to be giving money to a multi-billionaire?
On the other hand, my giving record *is* perfect…