In a new effort to raise funds, colleges and universities around the country are naming restroom stalls and walls after alumni and benefactors in exchange for generous donations, reports Inside Higher Ed. Schools from Dixie College in southern Utah to the University of Pennsylvania are getting on the bandwagon.
Time magazine opines that the award for the best-named restroom should go to the “Falik Men’s Room” at Harvard Law School. (It is pronounced exactly how it looks.) When William Falik, a 1971 Harvard Law grad, donated $100,000 to his alma mater, the school honored him with a restroom bearing his name, reports Elie Mystal for Above the Law.
Apparently this was Falik’s idea. “I have a name that doesn’t go many places,” said Falik in an interview with the Daily Californian. “I think it’s somewhat humorous to have my name outside of a men’s room.”
But Harvard isn’t the only school with a bathroom bearing Falik’s name. Berkeley Repertory Roda Theatre named its men's room the “Falik Gentleman's Lounge” after Falik give them a large donation, according to Above the Law.
Another favorite comes from the University of Pennsylvania, where a donor agreed to sponsor a campus library renovation on the condition that the bathroom’s walls be lined with plaques that read: “The relief you are now experiencing is made possible by a gift from Michael Zinman."
"I have a warped sense of what the world is like, and I am poking barbed gentle fun at society," said Zinman in an interview with the Daily Pennsylvanian, explaining what inspired him to make the "five-figure" donation.
Though some schools are willing to play along with these tongue-in-cheek games, not all schools have been so open-minded. Ten years ago venture capitalist Brad Feld approached Massachusetts Institute of Technology offering to endow a bathroom, Feld writes on his blog. After a few months of back and forth, MIT officials told him the plan would be inappropriate. So Feld put his $25,000 into a bathroom elsewhere. He now has a restroom named after him in the science building at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he now lives.