I’m sure everybody knows how it happens. A donor makes a very large contribution to a school, and in return, the school gets named after that donor. Standard operating procedure. In fact, that kind of thing happened not too long ago with the University of Washington.
However, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is experiencing something a bit different. A group of alumni all chipped in to donate $85 million to the business school with the caveat that the school would NOT be named after any entity for the next 20 years.
What I find so cool about this is how it changes the game a bit. Normally, after such a large donation to a school results in a name change, that name is going to stick. Schools aren’t going to be changing the name of their business school every 20 years, after all. But in Wisconsin, they have this $85 million donation, and in 20 years, there will be an incentive for people to donate more, because the school could still be named. Or, even better, they could make another similar donation, and prevent naming for another 20 years.
Source: Wisconsin Business Alumni