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3 Cheers

22 Oct Posted by in Business | Comments Off on 3 Cheers

A few pleasant items to note, and since I have nothing to do with one of them and little with the other two I thought I could note without self-serving:

  1. Yesterday several faculty, at one of my periodic teas, commented on how fine the University grounds look — not a new development, but even better recently with the landscaping around new buildings, the little rock gardens around some lampposts, etc. It is a real asset to the University and simply a pleasant part of the work environment. At a previous institution the then-president, who was a bit of a jerk, decided once to deteriorate the grounds, to induce more alumni giving out of sympathy for poverty; it didn’t work. Mason’s approach is much better.
  2. We have a cheering uptick in private contributions, and useful ones. Last year we were one of only a few universities that moved giving up over the previous year, and this year the targets (and performance to date) are even higher. Always, of course, we would like still more — we’re hardly in the big leagues yet — and always we could wish that the targeting was even more closely aligned with our top needs. But we are doing better, and lots of talented folks are putting in productive effort.
  3. Family weekend this past weekend was the largest ever. I was in on the first one, nine years ago, when we had 50 families listed and I think maybe 3 actually seemed to be present. Our staff clearly outnumbered them. This time we had some 300, even in bad weather. Equally important they were largely enthusiastic. And the event was well-organized. Another step forward.