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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Monday, January 30, 2006

$1,028,578,781

That's over one BILLION dollars, people.

What is it for, you may ask?

It's the current fund-raising sum declared by the University of Miami, as part of their Momentum programme, which set the goal of raising a billion dollars by 2008.

They're obviously one year ahead of schedule, so they've tacked on a target of $250 million more to the total.

Let me tell you that when Donna Shalala, President Clinton's old Secretary of Health and Human Services, became U of M president, a lot of us bit our lips.

How this extremely liberal lady, formerly of U of Wisconsin, would cope with our very unpolitical university, which prides itself on its corporate-like atmosphere, would fit in, and make the institution grow, we didn't know.

There were other sniggers as well, including details of her unmarried state, and her diminutive person (she's maybe, maybe 5'0", and I'm being very generous), which invited more doubt about her, than trust, in that superficial human way.

But she's done a gangbusters job for the University, and that's what counts.

DETAILS:

The total of $1,028,578,781 raised to date is from a record 104,364 donors, of which 167 have given $1 million or more. The campaign has generated unprecedented levels of giving from University alumni and trustees, with total contributions from alumni at $314 million, and trustees at $278 million. A total of 17 endowed chairs and 116 endowed scholarships have been established, which will have a significant and enduring impact on the recruitment of outstanding faculty.

7 Comments:

  • I have a picture of me, enrobed in black academics with purple velvet trimmed sleeves, and Chancellor Shalala handing me my diploma cover.

    The diploma came later in the mail. I was wearing a Cheddarhead t-shirt and a mini-skirt under my robe. She did a decent job at my alma mater.

    By Blogger Ruth Anne Adams, at Mon Jan 30, 04:55:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I have a picture of me, enrobed in black academics with purple velvet trimmed sleeves,

    Nice! Lawyers' colours, purple, yes?

    Medical doctors traditionally have green, but not sure in the US.

    and Chancellor Shalala handing me my diploma cover.

    How much did you tower over her?

    I'm serious, she's tiny -- it must cause problems for photogs.

    The diploma came later in the mail.

    Yes, they usually do -- although at Oxford, as ever, it is complicated.

    Since you are a member of a specific college, but it's the University which grants the degree, you get it through the Registrar's Office.

    Although, perhaps that has changed with the wide-sweeping Educational reforms which went into effect since my emigration...

    I was wearing a Cheddarhead t-shirt and a mini-skirt under my robe.

    Whew! For a second, I thought you were wearing a Cheddarhead!

    Did you bring the beach ball or did someone else -- or is that only an U of Miami thing?

    She did a decent job at my alma mater.

    Yeah, she's okay.

    Here's my one and only Shalala anecdote.

    Back when the Univ of Miami hosted the first Presidential Debate (you might recall) in September '04, every single news entity seemed to be on campus.

    I got to use the loo next to Jackie Nespral (local celeb anchor), and was splashed by Andrea Mitchell in the sink -- she's much uglier than you can even imagine (meow).

    The press I expected.

    The famous people attending I didn't, for whatever reason. In retrospect, of course they were all going to be on campus.

    Security was super-tight, and only those students, academics, and staff wearing special lanyards, were admitted.

    So there I was, milling around the MSNBC makeshift studio, alongside hundreds of others who wanted to be shown on Chris Matthews' abortion of a news analysis show, and let's face it, who doesn't, when I decided to make for the other side, nearer the library.

    And as I was walking, face down temporarily adjusting my lanyard, who should I almost bump into, literally with my shoulder?

    Madeleine Albright!

    I apologised sheepishly (she was okay about it, but somewhat cold too, eagle nose hooked even more than I remember from her photos).

    Then I turned my sight next to her, and it was President Shalala smiling at me, exuding a lot of warmth to me, a student.

    One more turn of the head (it happened much quicker than I describe of course, but in my memory, it's very slo-mo), and who should I see making up the trio?

    Janet Freaking Reno. All 6 foot 1 of her.

    They moved on -- and thus ends my Donna Shalala anecdote. :)

    Small world, Ruth Anne.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Jan 30, 07:33:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I think some people have speculated about what it said about Pres. Clinton that many in his cabinet were small in stature (Reich, Albright, Shalala, primary examples).

    AG Reno was an outlier as she was 3rd or 4th choice for the post.

    And I'm always suspicious of what universities actually choose to do with these huge endowments that they beg for.

    (What has Yale and Harvard done with their massive endowments?)

    I went to the least well endowed UC and it was the friendliest campus with professors who actually enjoyed teaching (plus the most 'diverse' as if that mattered).

    Money doesn't buy that stuff.

    By Blogger XWL, at Mon Jan 30, 08:09:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Purple for lawyers, yes. M.D.s have green in the U.S. because all of our academic wardrobe is derivative of your mother country.

    I am short of stature, as well, but I looked down on her a little.

    No beach ball. It was May in Wisconsin. We had only hung up our hockey skates two weeks prior.

    Speaking about Andrea Mitchell [Mrs. Alan Greenspan], I, too, had heard she is disastrous in person and you can see some of the devastating pock marks even with the heavy pancake make-up. My brother was a photo dog in the Bush 41 White House Press Corps.

    That same contingent[of TV news-babes] has been in this neck of the woods, too. Wake Forest University hosted a couple debates if you recall. Plus, President Bush would be-bop into Winston-Salem a lot to help Elizabeth Dole and now Richard Burr. Senator Burr is one to watch. I'll bet he's on the short list for V.P. next go-round.

    By Blogger Ruth Anne Adams, at Mon Jan 30, 09:31:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I think some people have speculated about what it said about Pres. Clinton that many in his cabinet were small in stature (Reich, Albright, Shalala, primary examples).

    Hmmmm, I hadn't thought of that.

    This is probably because, due to my Floridian angle, when I think of "Bill Clinton's cabinet", I think of Janet Reno, full stop.

    And as noted, she's a huge hulking woman.

    AG Reno was an outlier as she was 3rd or 4th choice for the post.

    Quite right.

    And she was chosen primarily because, not being married, there was no Nannygate lurking in the wings.

    As everyone has heard, she and Clinton didn't exactly get on.

    And I'm always suspicious of what universities actually choose to do with these huge endowments that they beg for.

    One should always be suspicious, and watchful about such things.

    Because though they are there to benefit the commonweal, allegedly, they are certainly targetted to pass certain pre-determined agenda.

    Apparently, the Department of Sociology and Archeology (the most traditionally left-wing of departments in most Universities, even including the other social sciences, and Literature depts.) was dying a death on the main campus.

    Now it's got $$$ coming to them.

    (What has Yale and Harvard done with their massive endowments?)

    Droll, very droll.

    I went to the least well endowed UC and it was the friendliest campus with professors who actually enjoyed teaching (plus the most 'diverse' as if that mattered).

    I clicked on the link.

    A reading about Black Psychology and something about Marxism, featuring noted philosopher (and Derrida confrere), Etienne Baliban.

    Usually I would be all over the second one, but sometimes, I am thankful I am not in the academic millieu right now, because I am surrounded by such like-speak.

    Money doesn't buy that stuff.

    Money doesn't buy brains, no.

    But it gets you access to brains. ;)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Jan 30, 11:49:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Purple for lawyers, yes. M.D.s have green in the U.S. because all of our academic wardrobe is derivative of your mother country.

    Certainly.

    But I've made too many errors in that respect, when thinking Americans do things "nationally".

    They are highly individualistic about such niceties -- you must be the only country where you don't have a nationally enforced licence plate, with only the numbers suggesting your seat of residence.

    And then there's the ballot system, which not only differs from state to state, but from county to county...

    What a country.

    I am short of stature, as well, but I looked down on her a little.

    Aww, nice. :)

    No beach ball. It was May in Wisconsin. We had only hung up our hockey skates two weeks prior.

    Holy crapple.

    Speaking about Andrea Mitchell [Mrs. Alan Greenspan], I, too, had heard she is disastrous in person and you can see some of the devastating pock marks even with the heavy pancake make-up.

    You know how it is -- people like to make those kind of catty remarks about looks etc.

    I have seen many unhealthy-looking famous people, but she had the added air of someone with a swollen head.

    It's just a very bad vibe I got.

    (The opposite of Jackie Nespral, who was actually a Today Show anchor, before Katie Couric, IIRC)

    My brother was a photo dog in the Bush 41 White House Press Corps.

    Wow! Cagey one.

    Any anecdotes you can share? :)

    That same contingent[of TV news-babes] has been in this neck of the woods, too. Wake Forest University hosted a couple debates if you recall.

    Hmm, no, I don't recall where the other two (there were 3 total in 2004) were -- but Wake Forest sounds fairly central, so that's good.

    Plus, President Bush would be-bop into Winston-Salem a lot to help Elizabeth Dole and now Richard Burr. Senator Burr is one to watch. I'll bet he's on the short list for V.P. next go-round.

    By Jove, Miss Ruth Anne. You've inspired a blogpost!

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Jan 30, 11:56:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I think Paterno's given that much to PSU alone. Come on people! Give a little to restore U. of M. to their former glory.
    Sorry Victoria, I love you but I have to take my shots where I can. I somehow have to drop this football mentality.

    By Blogger Paul, at Fri Feb 03, 12:08:00 am GMT-5  

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