How The University Of New Hampshire Chose To Waste An Alum's $4m Gift

How The University Of New Hampshire Chose To Waste An Alum's $4m Gift

I doubt any student will look back in ten years and say “man, that video scoreboard - that really impacted my experience at UNH in a meaningful and beneficial way.”
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College communities throughout the nation have been buzzing about Robert Morin, a librarian at the University of New Hampshire who recently left the school his entire estate of $4 million when he passed away. Morin’s selfless act is both generous and moving. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1963, and went on to work at in the school’s Dimond Library for almost half a century.

Morin set aside $100,000 specifically for the library, to fund scholarships for work-study students, support staff, and renovate one of the library’s multimedia rooms. The rest of the money was apparently designated for “funding scholarships and renovations.”

So, how exactly has UNH chosen to spend this wonderful man’s gift?

$2.5 million will be spent on developing a better career center for students and alumni. As a wildcat, I visited the campus’s career center several times throughout my four years there, and found it to be quite helpful. I have no doubt that whatever further developments they make to the center will benefit future students immensely.

But a whopping one million dollars is being used to buy a fancy new video scoreboard for the new football stadium.

The remaining $400,000 doesn’t seem to have a designation yet.

But let me just reiterate this. A librarian donated $4 million to his alma mater. $100,000 is being given to the library. $1 million is being used to buy A SCOREBOARD.

For those of you who don’t know, the UNH football stadium just received a $25 million renovation, and was re-opened on September 10th, 2016. But apparently, $25 million just wasn’t enough. The university tried to justify the purchase of the new scoreboard by claiming that Morin became a football fanatic while he was in an assisted living home during the last year and a half of his life. So clearly, that’s much more important than his life long passion of reading and literature, right? The university clearly seems to think that it makes sense for the sports department to receive ten times the amount that Morin’s own department is receiving, even after spending $25 million on a stadium renovation. The school also just recently spent almost $2 million on a new student athlete center, and $4.5 million to build a new outdoor pool.

Deborah Dutton, Vice President for Advancement and President of the UNH Foundation, said of the donation: “Unrestricted gifts give the university the ability to use the funds for our highest priorities and emerging opportunities."

Oh really? A new football scoreboard is the “highest priority?” If that’s the case, the school needs a serious priority check.

Excuse me, UNH administration, did you know that the photography department has not had reliable water in their darkroom for a whole year now? Or has anyone else noticed that there is not enough fair parking on campus? (But why would they ever fix that, seeing as the university literally rakes in hundreds of thousands of dollars every year issuing parking tickets to students?)

In the 2015-2016 school year, all UNH student publications went on the chopping block and received massive budget cuts that will most likely put some of them entirely out of commission in the coming years. Working for Main Street Magazine completely transformed my experience as a student and a writer, and it breaks my heart that future students may not be able to feel the joy of collaborating with an editorial team to put together a publication.

Did you know that UNH is one of the only public universities in the country that does not offer graphic design courses? Do you know why? Because their art department is so financially deprived, it barely manages to stay afloat, let alone grow or develop.

Ultimately, the school’s administrative decision to spend a quarter of Morin’s generous donation on a inconsequential trinket for the athletic department is a complete disgrace to the spirit and memory of Robert Morin. As a wildcat, I feel deeply saddened, and honestly completely ashamed of my alma mater for this.

But the reality is, this is just the latest and worst offense in a string of the school’s trivial and heavily criticized financial expenses.

In 2013, the school spent $60,000 on a new logo design (which is ugly, by the way. Everyone misses the clock tower logo.)

During the recent multi-million dollar renovation of Holloway Commons dining hall, the school spent $17,000 on a light-up table. Just for clarification, that is a year’s tuition for an in-state student. The university actually later admitted that buying the table was a huge mistake.

In 2014, The Huffington Post ranked UNH #3 on a list of the most expensive public universities throughout the nation. Since then, the school’s tuition rate has only climbed. Current In-state tuition costs about $17,600, while out-of-state tuition costs about $31,000. With room and board, books, meal plans, etc., the yearly total for in-state students is about $30,000, and $44,000 for out-of-state students. The average UNH students graduates with about $33,000 of student loan debt hanging over their head. And in case anyone was wondering, that is pretty close to how in debt I am after graduating last May - $30,000. I’ll be paying that back for approximately the next decade of my life, while struggling to survive in a competitive job market. A few of my fellow wildcat friends graduated with almost twice as much debt as me.

Yet, despite putting their alumni in financially crippling debt, the university still seems to find it appropriate to throw their money away into completely trivial money pits.

Just for reference, $1 million could:

  • Fund countless grants for research
  • Give a full ride (full tuition for all four years) to fourteen in-state students.
  • Give a full ride to eight out-of-state students
  • Buy 242 year-long student meal plans, and thus feed 242 hungry students.

Really, all I have to say is, who the HELL is making these decisions?!

I absolutely loved my time at UNH. I had an incredible experience there as a wildcat, and I wouldn’t trade that time for anything. I love the school and its spirit. I loved most of my professors and enjoyed my classes, and I made amazing friends. But I do not love the administration, and I do not support some of the choices that they make.

I am honestly ashamed of and embarrassed by my alma mater’s decision to waste Morin's generous gift on a frivolous toy. The money could be spent on a cause that would truly, positively impact the lives of the university’s students. It could have changed lives. I doubt any student will look back in ten years and say “man, that video scoreboard - that really impacted my experience at UNH in a meaningful and beneficial way.”

Cover Image Credit: mic.com

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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Things I Miss Now That I'm Home From College Again

There are so many reasons to be glad that the school year is over, but if you've done it right... there are a lot of reasons to miss it too.

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So, school is over now and I've come home. As expected I was so relieved at first. No more showering with flip-flops, no more listening to screaming girls running up and down the hall, and a space that is mine and mine alone. But after a week or so of being back, there are a few things I've already started to miss.

I know that not every single person has the ideal roommate but I got really lucky with mine. Coming home I was excited to have my own space, but now when I'm doing my midnight scrolling, I'm realizing that I miss being able to talk to her about the funny things I see in that very moment. Tagging, DMing, and texting her doesn't feel the same as a long night of giggles spent together.

Also, while seeing old friends when you get home is amazing, and there is always a lot to catch up on, you do start to miss your other friends too. Being in college means that your friends are going through similar things as you are all the time. You have tests together, clubs together, and sometimes you spend way too much time procrastinating together. The bond you begin to form is one you definitely begin to miss - especially when you guys don't live close off of campus.

Coming home also means you don't have a set schedule or at least not immediately. You may come back to a previous job and that puts something on your calendar, but the free time you still have during the week can be a little too much. I know I've spent way too much time obsessing over the Tati/James drama than I ever would have at school. The routine I had at school kept me busy and entertained, and I'm honestly missing it a lot right now.

There are a lot of other things to miss too - even things you thought you wouldn't. You miss the classes, the teachers, and sometimes the food. I know I miss the environment. It isn't a perfect one, but it's full of people just trying to find their way. We are all working through the roller coaster of life and we are all stuck on one beautiful campus together while we figure it all out. I miss meeting new people at the bus stops or running into old classmates and catching up.

I guess the bonus for me is that I just finished sophomore year which means I have more time to spend at school. Come senior year, I guess I'll have to learn quickly how to deal without the things I miss - and also create a schedule so I can travel to see all of my friends, but those are all problems for future me.

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