Grinnell College - As part of “I Heart GC Week”, Grinnell College received a generous one million dollar donation from an anonymous donor.
According to the Student Alumni Council, the donation, which was left in a battered envelope under the welcome mat on the front step of Ray Kay’s home, was accompanied by a letter explaining that the donation should be used to benefit the students of the college and that an expression of thanks towards the donor would be absolutely unnecessary.
Despite this desire for a lack of thanks, the donor appears to have changed their tone.
On Tuesday afternoon Catherine Lloyd ‘18 reported finding a crumpled up post-it note covered in tiny pink gel pen drawn hearts in the back of her GWSS binder.
Said Lloyd, “The note read, ‘Do you like the anonymous donor? Check the box yes or no.’ I was pretty confused.”
However, Lloyd did not think much of the incident until other students also began receiving messages from this unnamed identity.
Later that same day, while walking across Mac field on the way to the Bear, Justin Schwartz ’16 came across the words “ONE MILLION DOLLARS #NEVERFORGET #SONICE #SOMEHEROSDONTWEARCAPES” written in assorted coins on the field.
The activity escalated the following day, when students received a campus wide email from the account “Anonymoufirstname.lastname@example.org”. The email was 2,000 words long.
According to ITS security specialist NAME, “it appeared to be just a lengthy and detailed description of the greatness of the donation. For example, the email included lines such as, ‘wow whoever donated all of that money is such an amazingly selfless person who should be thanked profusely’ and suggested that students take a ten minute moment of silence to think about the great thing that this person has done for campus.”
The email also recommended taking some measures to thank the donor, such as renaming a number of buildings on campus. Listed as suggestions were changing Mears Cottage to Mystery Money Cottage, the JRC to the ARC, the Anonymous Rosenfield Center, and Noyce to Noyce Job Donating All Of That Money, Anonymous Donor. The email also suggested that if none of these changes were feasible, the Honor G Grill in the Dining Hall be at least be renamed the Honor Me Grill.
One student, Rachel Karr ‘16 attempted to contact the donor by using the email address included in the campus memo.
Said Karr, “As soon as the send button was pressed, I got an automated response email stating that the donor was not accepting messages at this time but ‘gift baskets of any worth or size would be accepted,’ and there was also a mailing address. I was kind of curious so I mailed a letter to the address in order to try to identify the donor somehow, and I sent a small basket of pears I stole from the dining hall, as to not be disrespectful. But all I got back was a box of “I Heart Anonymous” computer stickers.
The general lack of information has led to several hypotheses. One popular theory is that the donor is actually Ted Cruz, after one Burling employee reported finding a collage note reading, “money doesn’t grow on trees,” made out of magazine cutouts.