http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/271092

Op-Ed: Don’t Follow the Money Stipulation of Mystery $45M in Donations

Posted Apr 17, 2009 by Sandy Sand
Nine universities are clueless as to where $45 million in gifts came from, with the caveat that they can keep the money and run with it as long as they don’t attempt to figure out the identity of the mystery donor.
Phillip D. Adams, vice president for university advancement at Norfolk State University, said:
"In my last 28 years in fundraising ... this is the first time I've dealt with a gift that the institution didn't know who the donor is.”
The donor or donors can hardly be blamed for wanting their identity kept secret, because once revealed, every school or group in need will throng to their doorsteps. And what group isn't in need these days!
Not generally thought of as a suspicious lot, one university checked with the IRS and Homeland Security to see if its gift had a reward on its head, and was not given by anyone associated with criminal activities. Results of their investigation are as mysterious as the identity of the donor.
It’s also unclear as to whether the gifts came from a single individual, a group, a corporation, an organization or a loosely connected group of people with similar interests.
Making it more mysterious, the payments were made either by certified check, attorneys or other representative, and they weren’t talking.
Not surprisingly, all of the schools agreed to not follow the money and other stipulations. The bulk of the money has to go toward scholarships, with the remainder dedicated to research, equipment, and the loosely specified areas of strategic goals and operational support.
The following universities received the gifts since March 1.
University of North Carolina, Asheville, $1.5M
Purdue, $8M
University of Iowa, $7M
University of Southern Mississippi; University of North Carolina, Greensboro; University of Maryland; and University College, $6M each
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, $5.5M
Penn State-Harrisburg, $3M