On the local charity front, we note that Williams has given $1 millions to the North Adams Regional Hospital CARE Campaign for “hospital renovations.” The Transcript notes that:

Helen Ouellette, administration vice president and treasurer of William College, announced its contribution to the campaign, saying communities are built through caring, with the hospital being a central part of that care.

The donation was made in honor of those Williams College alumni who work at and utilize the hospital, she said, as the care at the hospital is often “delivered through the hands of Williams alumni.”

“And our community is incalculably stronger as a result,” she said.

The last time we blogged on the topic of the College’s acts of charity, it was with regard to $250,000 given to help Mount Greylock High School. Highlights of that discussion are currently unavailable because of the patheticness of Blogger. In any event, the problem with this is the same. When I given money to Williams, I want the money to go to helping Williams as directly as possible. I, because I don’t give the big bucks, give the College wide latitude in deciding how to spend that money. But if I wanted to give money to help the hospital in North Adams, I would do that directly. I don’t need/want the College to do it for me.

How much is $1 million? Well, it is around 15% of what the Alumni Fund raises in a typical year.

It isn’t that Williams shouldn’t be involved with charity and with the local community. For example, it is a good thing that the College allows the use of its facilities, presumably gratis for charity events. It is a good think that the College encourages students to be involved in local charity work and also, presumably, supports these efforts with things like van rides.

It is not a good thing when the College writes a big check to a charity/cause which does not have a significant connection to the lives of Williams students. This is not why I and, I think, the vast majority of alumni give money to the school.

UPDATE: Thanks to Brooks Foehl ’88 for pointing out that the Alumni Fund raised $7 million in 2002, not the $1 million that I mistakenly concluded from looking here.

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