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Donate to a College, Get a Bathroom Named in Your Honor

It's common for colleges to name buildings after wealthy donors. But what does that leave for smaller donors who would like to be recognized? Some colleges are tapping into that market by naming bathrooms, or even individual stalls, after donors:

For $2,000, a Dixie State College of Utah donor could have been the namesake of a porcelain castle complete with a locking door, a generous supply of off-brand toilet paper and an occasional copy of yesterday’s sports section.

In a brazen effort to raise funds, Dixie State offered naming rights to individual bathroom stalls in a musical theater company’s planned building. The college wanted to help the troupe, which had moved on campus after being evicted from its previous stage, raise money for a new home somewhere else.


Dixie State's fundraising plan didn't work and the theater company shut down. But other colleges, including Harvard University, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and the University of Pennsylvania have named bathrooms for donors. It's a mark of pride:

A University of Pennsylvania donor funded a bathroom renovation (subscription required) in the campus library. His philanthropy had one catch -- that the walls be lined with plaques reading, “The relief you are now experiencing is made possible by a gift from Michael Zinman.”


If you're a college student right now, look around a bathroom on your campus and dream of your future. Someday, this is what you could be known for.

Link -via @BrainPicker | Photo: Inside Higher Ed

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