August 4, 2009 – College Visits

I haven’t talked about last week’s college visits. We visited Grinnell, Cornell College, and Macalester. I didn’t take any pictures, but noted one observation from the two colleges with largest endowments – the key to large endowments seemed directly linked to contraband livestock.

At Grinnell, they relayed the story of a student named Robert Noyce. It was luau night at the college and Robert thought it was appropriate to have a pig roast at a luau, so he ventured out in the country and stole a pig from a nearby farm. He brought it to campus and butchered it in the dorm shower. The next day, felling regretful, he returned to the farm to confess his larceny. A series of events nearly caused him to be expelled from Grinnell. Only the intervention of a physics teacher on his behalf prevented his expulsion, and instead he was granted only a one semester suspension. Later on, Robert went on to form a little company called Intel and left a billion dollars in Intel stock to Grinnell and he urged them to diversify it. They did, and in a rare case of a bad result of diversification, had the college not diversified, the endowment would have been over 70 billion!

At Macalester, Dewitt Wallace led a cow four stories up the old main building. Cows go up stairs, but do not go down stairs (at least while they are alive). This event, along with others, led him to leave Macalaster before graduation. Later he went on to publish Reader’s Digest and also left a large endowment to his old school.

one year ago…”Oppressive Weather”