A Modest $100M Proposal

Thursday, January 26, 2017

With a generous gift from the Helen Diller Foundation, UCSF has been able to finally answer the question, “What would you do if you won the lottery?”

With an impressive $500 million donated, this amount ranks as one of the highest donations to any U.S. academic institution.

To give you some perspective, there are only two other donations in the entire country higher than this and the entire school’s endowment increases by 18%.

If you want more clarification, this is enough to buy all the houses between 4th to 7th Ave and Lincoln Way to Irving St. and with enough leftover to buy out Poki Time.

Of course, with such a big family to feed and each sibling in the household hungry for a slice of the pie, it makes you wonder what kind of drama will unfold.

Should parents, uncles or aunties be entitled to more than others? What about the budding little children and their college tuitions?

Sharing is caring. Or as J. Paul Getty puts it, “Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells.”

Already some rules are in place so everybody knows what to expect. Specifically, $200 million goes to the parents as a means of rewarding their good deeds, continuing their excellence, and attracting others into the family business. Another $200 million will be split among the household’s four kids for tuition. And the last $100 million will be spent at the family’s discretion.

That last bit is what made me sit up and take notice. With the seemingly endless possibilities, I asked myself, why not have a little fun with this $100 million?

Here are my modest proposals:

  1. Keep in mind, we still have a big hole on the side of our house and if we could just please patch it up and get back our beautiful little patch of green grass, that would be nice. (Estimated cost: Probably all $100 million.)

  2. You make students happy? Get us more food options in addition to late late night options. A 24/7 Chipotle and Krispy Kreme Doughnut will do. (Estimated cost: $843,000 for the Chipotle and $275,000 for the Krispy Kreme.)

  3. On a similar note, what about a school bar? The Nursing Bear’s Lair? The What’s Up Doc’s Den? (Estimated cost: $1 million.)

  4. That free MUNI/BART pass sounds amazing doesn’t it? (Estimated cost: $4,000,000 for the entire school.)

  5. We can’t own a football team, but what about a rugby team? We could watch games just down the street at Golden Gate Park. (Estimated cost: $75 million.)

  6. Last year a Chinese company took their 6,400 employees on an all expense paid trip to France for $20 million. Think it over — we have far fewer people to please. (Estimated cost: $15 million.)

This list can go on and on. Soon enough we’ll hear all about the plans, but for now, let us dream.

Whatever way this money is spent, the unfortunate reality is that with the few years left to this current batch of students, we’ll reap little to none of its rewards. But maybe, if we’re lucky, they’ll throw us a good graduation party.

This isn’t to say we aren’t grateful for what we have received, it just sucks that we were born five years too soon to see our UCSF Rugby Team win a championship.

On the bright side…

I heard that the start-up company Blue Apron, which delivers recipes and ingredients to let you cook amazing meals at home, costs about $500 million. If we buy them out quick before Google does, we’ll never have to worry about food again!