A lady in a dull used dress and her husband, dressed in a ordinary old
suit, stepped off the train in Boston, and walked nervously without an
appointment into the Harvard University President‘s outer office. The
secretary could tell in a moment that such they are low-class, from the
country and 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 job she always regretted.
‘Maybe if you see them for a few minutes, they’ll leave,’
she said to him! He sighed in frustration and nodded.
Someone of his importance obviously didn’t have the time to spend with
them, and he disliked used dress, dresses and ordinary suits cluttering
up his outer office.
The president, strict faced and with dignity, walked 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 put up a monument
to him, somewhere on campus.’
The president wasn’t touched. He was shocked.
‘Madam,’ he said, ‘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 put up a statue.
We thought we would like to give a building to Harvard.’
The president rolled his eyes. He glanced at the used dress and
ordinary suit, then yell, ‘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 bendy in confusion and panic.
Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford got up and walked away, travelling 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.
‘People will forget what you said, People will forget what you did.’
‘But people will never forget how you made them feel!’