Monday, July 2, 2007

Wealth in Higher Ed

Walter Kimborough shares his views about philanthropy in higher education in a thought provoking article, The Perpetuation of Privilege. I read with great interest the debate about a $400 million pledge by Columbia University alumnus John W. Kluge. At the heart of the conversation was the key question, what is philanthropy anyway - and does a gift to a wealthy institution really serve the potential of education regardless of wealth or family income.

While I applaud such a tremendous gift as a life long student of philanthropy, I understand Kimborough's feedback about true ways to impact the education of those who aspire to academic excellence. Columbia University's enrollment does not serve as a poster child for an institution seeking to broaden its base of underprivileged students. Likewise, it is his money.

I look forward to the day when I can blog about my own decision to make a gift of historic significance to an institution which will be both strategic, intentional, and more likely than not - a surprise to my undergraduate stomping ground. (When they don't receive it.) I'll pick someplace that not only recruits, but works to retain the quality students that make up their breeding ground for academic and often more lasting, life lessons.

1 comment:

bliss said...

i think any gift you give to the university of your choice will be significant and historic, no matter it's monetary value. if you give it with love and care (which it sounds like you will), it will become part of your family history. and that's VERY important. :-)