It’s not what YOU think

Posted: August 28, 2008 in Amusing, Money, Reflections, U.S., World News

Apology – this turned out to be a hoax:

An urban legend, widely circulated on the Internet but untrue, describes the couple as poorly-dressed country bumpkins who decided to found their own university only after being rebuffed in their offer to endow a building at Harvard. They did visit Harvard’s president but were well-received and given advice on starting a new university in California. From the outset they made some nontraditional choices: the university would be coeducational, in a time when most were all-male; non-denominational, when most were associated with a religious organization; and avowedly practical, producing “cultured and useful citizens” when most were concerned only with the former. SOURCE

Looks Are Deceiving…

A lady in a faded gingham dress and her husband, dressed in a homespun thread bare suit, stepped off the train in Boston, and walked timidly without an appointment into the Harvard University President’s outer office.

The secretary could tell in a moment that such backwoods, country hicks had no business at Harvard & probably didn’t even deserve to be in Cambridge…

“We’d like to see the president,” the man said softly.

“He’ll be busy all day,” the secretary snapped.
“We’ll wait,” the lady replied.

For hours the secretary ignored them, hoping that the couple would finally become discouraged and go away.  They didn’t, and the secretary grew frustrated and finally decided to disturb the president, even though it was a chore she always  regretted.

“Maybe if you see them for a few minutes, they’ll leave,” she said to him! He sighed in exasperation and nodded.

Someone of his importance obviously didn’t have the time to spend with them, and he detested gingham dresses and homespun suits cluttering up his outer office.

The president, stern faced and with dignity, strutted toward the couple.

The lady told him, “We had a son who attended Harvard for one year. He loved Harvard.  He was happy here.  But about a year ago, he was accidentally killed. My husband and I would like to erect a memorial to him, somewhere on campus.”

The president wasn’t touched. He was shocked.

“Madam,” he said, gruffly, “we can’t put up a statue for every person who attended Harvard and died. If we did, this place would look like a cemetery.”

“Oh, no,” the lady explained quickly. “We don’t want to erect a statue. We thought we would like to give a building to Harvard.”

The president rolled his eyes. He glanced at the gingham dress and homespun suit, then exclaimed, “A building! Do you have any earthly idea how much a building costs? We have over seven and a half million dollars in the physical buildings here at Harvard.”

For a moment the lady was silent.

The president was pleased.

Maybe he could get rid of them now.

The lady turned to her husband and said quietly, “Is that all it cost to start a university? Why don’t we just start our own? ”

Her husband nodded.

The president’s face wilted in confusion and bewilderment. Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford got up and walked away, traveling to Palo Alto, California where they established the university that bears their name,
Stanford University, a memorial to a son that Harvard no longer cared about.

You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who they think can do nothing for them.
A TRUE STORY By Malcolm Forbes

“People will forget what you said, People will forget what you did.”
“But people will never forget how you made them feel!”


The wise will understand…

The Morons will say: ” WTF?”

  1. samhenry says:

    Of course, there’s urbane legend and that would be Maumar (spelling”_ Gadaffi in his early years with his sartorial side making him very delicious and on a prancing, dancing arabian, better than chocolate. Interestingly enough, Google has dropped many of the early pictures of him. We have to see him forever as the psycho monster he became.

    Muomar, play a little something about the desert for me:

    • You’re so funny! The good ol’ songs! My daddy is not a Sultan with 50 girls attending (attending?) to him! Maria must know who I am! 😉

      Watch this hilarious clip about Gaddafi… but you’re right, he will be remembered as the Madman he really is:

  2. samhenry says:

    Urban Legend ought to be the title of the last Clint Eastwood movie. He told a lot of tall tales and he is beloved but he also inserted on truth – fiction is truth in finery – “it’s not over ’till it’s over.” Hoaxes never die. I still get hits on a post I did about a hoax that kept foraging around the internet. Often the greatest thing we can do is uncover one.

    Oh, play “Misty” for me, Clint- the Ella Fitzgerald verson:

  3. fashionxport says:

    I love this school and always wanted to go since I was 3

    • samhenry says:

      Make Sure in your next life you go as a grad student and not as an undergrad. I worked there for a time and their undergraduate school is bad news. It’s their grad schools that thine.

  4. Thanks finebeer. I edited the post.


  5. finebeer says:

    Great story, ATW, unfortunately its not true. Its an urban legend.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s