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Withheld donations expected in trillions

Letter to the Editor | Sunday, April 19, 2009

We would like to thank Mr. DiFranco (“Group of alumni launch Web site to tally sum of withheld donations,” April 17) for his efforts to quantify the amount of money withheld from Notre Dame because of Fr. Jenkins’ invitation to President Obama.

Below, we quantify for tallying purposes the amount of money we have decided to not donate. We will not donate $600 million for maintenance of the facilities on campus. We will not donate an additional billion dollars for grounds keeping. Further, to express our heartfelt discontent, we will not donate the $25 million we expect to win in the lottery. Our crystal ball has indicated a future windfall from sports betting. We would like to not donate this money. Let’s call it $500,000.

To assist Mr. DiFranco’s calculations, we propose a simple formula. All money gained by alumni through wages, salaries, 401k investments, tort judgments, insurance, blackjack in Las Vegas, pawned personal items and birthday presents from grandma should be not donated. From this should be subtracted all money not not-donated.

By our estimates, the cost of inviting President Obama to speak at Notre Dame runs into trillions of dollars in not-donations. In the interest of full disclosure, our calculations may be slightly inaccurate simply because, a) we don’t exactly have six hundred million dollars, b) we project that tuition will leave us six figures in debt and c) grandma doesn’t give us birthday presents. However, because the predictive principle is roughly the same, this makes our calculation no less accurate than Mr. DiFranco’s.

Patrick Hines, Ryan Finlen

law students

off campus

April 17