A fluffy but moderately interesting piece in the New York Times on how very specific college donations can become complicated when funds outlive their original intention--like a scholarship for students from a county in Virginia that no longer exists, or wood for a college president's fireplace. Read the whole thing here.
But on that note, every year the department gets small donations from alums that go specifically into a line separate from our larger budget. I've wanted to be responsible with this money so that it goes as far as possible. To those of you who have contributed in past, I wanted to let you know that to date we've used some of those funds to support student research (such as buying online data for research papers) and student conference travel. So know that your contributions to the department have gone directly into the hands of students. And for that we thank you.