Anyway, the solicitation offered a novel approach to asking for my money. It noted that alumni giving is one of the categories that the magazine U.S. News and World Report uses in its annual college rankings. If I were to donate, I could help raise our alumni giving level and improve our ranking. That sounds fine, except that the U.S. News rankings are basically university administrators looking at each other's schools and saying "Well, I'll say you're swell if you say I'm swell," and a full quarter of the overall score comes from how swell you've been thought of throughout your history, whether or not you're kind of a joke now.
I'm kind of sad about not donating right now; I suspect if I was able to give to a college ye olde alma mater is where I'd send a check. My seminary is on a campus where the school website used to make an effort to reassure students that the church influence stopped with its name being included in the school name. And the school where I used to work isn't someplace I care to offer my money to. But if and when I do, O Great Fount of Purple, I hope it comes at a time when you're past paying attention to the U.S. News beauty pageant and just building your rep by turning out well-educated students.