Monday, October 09, 2006

Nobel Proposal for Cal Fundraising

Cal has 7 Nobel Laureates currently on staff including recently awarded astronomer George Smoot. There are so many Nobel Laureates and so few parking spots that prime on campus parking spots are designated “NL PERMIT ONLY”, reserved for Nobel Laureates. I had the honor of meeting Dr. Smoot this past weekend while I was on campus for my 10 year reunion. It got me thinking about a great fundraising opportunity. Cal should sponsor an annual black tie Nobel Prize Extravaganza to honor all of the Nobel Laureates associated with Cal. According to wikipedia, there are 61 Nobel Laureates associated with Berkeley, although some are deceased. The dinner should be limited to 10 times the number of Nobel Laureates including the Laureates themselves and one significant other. Each Laureate would then be seated at a different table with 8 benefactors who make a minimum contribution of $250 per plate. Of course, the idea is that people will donate significantly more than the suggested $250 per person. Also, a tiered incentive structure could be established. For example, $1,000 would get you a poster-sized photo of all of the Laureates with their autographs. I think most of the Laureates would be willing to attend a nice dinner in their honor once a year. Who (aside from Sean Penn) wouldn’t attend an event organized by your peers in appreciation and honor of your contributions to society? If anyone in the Cal Development Office wants to work on this with me, please drop me a line.

Seems like a good idea. I thought Smoot had moved to Oxford, but it must have been a visiting professor gig. He was the big name in the department when I was there.
I'm sure there's 5 schools who claim every Laureate, but the NL parking pass has always been my favorite factoid about Cal.

Field's medal is also an impressive distinction. Anyway, I might go here before Wikpedia:

Slightly aside, I thought another good fundraiser would just be "microgrants." Whether specific to your interest (major, sport, club, fraternity)-just pledge to buy a kids books, and get a bill for it directly so you know they didn't just spend it on weed. Then maybe trade letters, like feed the children.
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