Posted by: Brad Nixon | October 20, 2010

My “Naming Opportunity”

Received a piece of mail from the auld sod — ye Alma Mater — keeping me informed of the progress toward building the new “Student Activity Center.” That hopelessly bland and generic name might stand for all that is wrong with Life As We Know It insofar as expressive language goes these days, but I guess we’re stuck with it. (As it happened, what would’ve been called the Student Union at some schools was, in my day, referred to by a name stemming from the school’s Native American mascot and had to be expunged, along with the school’s mascot!) Exactly why students NEED a Center for Activities is unclear to me, because most of the student activities with which we all are familiar are not going to take place in a school-sanctioned environment. Heck, there ought to be plenty of space in the library they built when I was there, now that books are on the way out. I guess they know what they need, though.

In a moment of nostalgic enthusiasm I agreed a couple of years ago to be a contributor to that new building, and so they’re “keeping me informed.” As anyone acquainted with organizations knows, information has a cost associated with it, and the cost of this informative missive is that there are yet MORE ways to contribute! Yay. As if it wasn’t bad enough that the original joint was launched right at the cusp of the recession, forcing a total redesign of the place to something far more modest than originally planned, it’s clear that the trustees (both academic institutions and prisons have trustees; how often their memberships overlap isn’t clear to me) have found that they need more money, and so now they’re offering “naming opportunities,” ranging from $200 to a number with many zeroes. The BIG Naming Opportunity is already claimed. A couple who graduated a dozen years before me get to put their name on the place and, I assume, christen it with a bottle of 3.2 beer, which is all the alcohol one could’ve found in the little town in their (and my) day.

I have to wonder what would have my name on it if I donated $200? A water fountain? All the doorknobs on one floor? Maybe a bowling ball or a foosball table? Hey! What if there could be the Under Western Skies POOL TABLE! Now THAT is something worth considering!


  1. Creativity, man! Every time I visit the star daughter there, I drive by the impressively fantastic baseball field, which I don’t doubt is named after some donor. I’m on the lookout and recalling a longtime friend and MU alum who long ago donated a modest amount (i.e. tiny) to the music department with the specific request that it be used to fund an organ for the ballpark. Charge!


  2. Would anyone seriously send their kids to any institution named after Brad Nixon ?


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