What money can buy

Dartmouth alumnus and Association of Alumni executive committee member David Gale writes to comment on Paul’s post “The $64 million question.” Gale writes:

I thought you ought to know — your speculations are not just correct, but they have also been admitted to by Ed Haldeman, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Christine Buckley, who headed the Board’s governance committee.
I am a member of the current Association of Alumni executive committee. Before the Trustees’ meeting, we requested a teleconference with Ed and any other Trustees who wanted to join. He agreed to meet with us on Sunday, September 9; Christine joined him, as did Bob Donin (the college counsel). From the Association were Bill Hutchinson, president; David Spalding, secretary/treasurer; Cheryl Bascomb, Tim Dreisbach, and myself.
Early on in the conversation, I pointed to two parts of their report: that alumni giving hit record levels last year, and that they acknowledged that alumni sentiment was “overwhelmingly” (their word) against this move. I then asked if they were concerned that alumni donations would fall off. Christine acknowledged that they probably will, but she’s hopeful that, like the dip in alumni donations after coeducation, the drop in donations will be short-lived.
Ed then volunteered that there were some alumni who had specifically withheld donations to the college because of the “uncertainty” in the election process. At that point, I said that I didn’t see how a small number of alumni on one hand could balance the loss of a large number of alumni donors on the other “unless we’re talking about millions and millions of dollars.” Ed’s response: “Well, we are.”


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