After reading Falan Mouton’s article laying out her rationale for not donating to Rice (“Rice just a business; donations are purely optional for graduates,” October 8, 2010), I was tempted to write a response pointing out flaws in her logic–e.g. contending that the Rice “product” ceases creating value for its “consumers” the moment they graduate–and her apparent misunderstanding of how businesses work–e.g. most businesses with the aim of having “no upper limit” will need to raise capital too.
Instead, though, I would rather focus my words on why I *do* donate to my alma mater: because I love Rice. I loved Rice as an undergrad. I loved Rice as a grad student. And I have *really* loved Rice as an alum. The cost of educating one undergrad is roughly twice what Rice takes in as tuition. Rice isn’t just trying to meet its costs, though; it has grand ambitions to be better each year, but such ambitions aren’t realized for free. When I donate to Rice I know my money is going to make a positive difference for the entire Rice community.
I’m not selfless either; some of those funds come back to me directly via alumni activities. The Association of Rice Alumni is an incredible network of interesting, diverse, successful alumni and, unlike at our peer institutions, there is no fee to join and there never will be.
In the nine years since I’ve graduated I’ve learned that you get out of Rice what you put into it. So donate time if you can. Donate money if you can. But don’t do it because you think you “owe” it to anyone. Do it because you love Rice.
Happy Rice Day!
Bryan Guido Hassin
Lovett College 2001
Master of Computer Science 2002