What happens when a university tries to raise money by naming a building in honor of a noted graduate…but finds its plan backfires big time? What happens when that school can actually raise money ONLY to have the name of that alumnus removed?
Well, you eat a little crow and take the name off the building…even if the name is Harry Reid. Yep, THAT Harry Reid, the Democrat Senator from Nevada, the Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate.
Southern Utah University, the Senate majority leader’s alma mater, has received a deluge of requests to remove Reid’s name from a building on campus — and some hefty donation pledges to make it happen.
“We had people step up and pledge money towards removing his name. In five days I received pledges totaling $40,000 – in just five days,” Cedar City, Utah, Councilman Paul Cozzens told the Spectrum newspaper of St. George, Utah.
The university building getting the cosmetic makeover WAS the Harry Reid Outdoor Engagement Center. The idea that administrators and fundraisers had was to use the senator’s name to go out and solicit donations for the university.
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When Reid’s name was applied to the center, it was believed that people would step up to to honor Reid and his alma mater with their cash; but to this day, no money has been given. What fundraisers ran into was a bunch of upset folks who would donate ONLY to have the name REMOVED.
“This is a conservative base in Southern Utah and many people in southern Nevada also feel the same way,” [Councilman] Cozzens said. “These people in Nevada do not espouse to Reid’s political philosophies, and they told me they would not support the university or send any more of their children there, and this was coming from people who had already sent children to SUU, so long as Harry Reid’s name remained.”