Thursday, August 11, 2005

Choosing Names for Buildings and Such

I don't like the latest trend in selling the names of places to the highest bidder. Naming buildings after people who pay for the right robs the community of an opportunity to inspire us about people whose legacy is greater than their own lifetime.

Here are my rules for using the names of people for anything that will last longer than 20 years (20 years = 1 generation, I just picked that out of a hat):

(1) The person must be dead;
(2) The person inspires us to behave the way we want "us" to behave;

So, when asked if I wanted the endowed chair I was funding at Reed College to be called the "James C. March Chair", I was indignant and disappointed. I recommended finding someone who was dead and deserved to be honored. We agreed on "Reginald F. Arragon Chair in the Humanities" to honor Professor "Rex" Arragon, founding father of the Reed humanities program.

August 11, 2005

No comments:

Post a Comment