Some suggestions for campus branding

We all know that philanthropic alumni like to attach their names to lasting physical monuments, but in this economy, buildings just aren’t as affordable as they used to be. Donors might still wish to leave their mark on campus but have apparently found that branding the new wonders of our small world, such as South 40 House and Eliot B, is prohibitively expensive. We therefore commend the University for finding a creative means of allowing patrons to secure a piece of Washington University real estate without breaking the bank.

The solution? Allowing donors to name a dorm room.

Some other, more elitist schools might disdain such a practice. However, as students who didn’t quite make the cut for Harvard, we have learned to lower our standards and wholeheartedly endorse it.

The gray, numbered plaques that adorn our entryways are rather bland, and we think that engraved names could provide much-needed embellishment. Plus, think of the possibilities.

For instance, it’s about time we had an actual “Animal House” on campus. Or how about a complement to the Orchid room—the Orgo room? In that spirit, we highly encourage alumni to consider naming their old rooms (or the modern equivalents, now that most dorms have been reduced to discarded piles of rubble and memories) after the activities that took place there.

The English majors among us would like to get a little bit postmodern—how about simply “The Room”? “The Building”?

Alternatively, names could be tailored according to specific Residential Colleges. Hogwarts-esque Liggett/Koenig could be home to Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin. The Brookings Kings could have rooms named after famous monarchs. After all, living in “Henry VIII” would ensure success in many the maritial pursuit.

Past Washington University donors and founders could also be recycled (again). Cupples III is the perfect title for the home of a sexiling roommate. The Knight room would be fitting for the University’s insomniacs. The Anheuser-Busch room would provide an obvious marketing opportunity.

In short, we believe wealthy friends of the University should further the noble tradition of the “Peter Great Fireplace” and seize this as an opportunity to provide landmarks that students will cherish for generations to come.

In addition to dorm rooms, we see great potential in expanding naming opportunities to other unexplored venues as well. We envision seeing the Thomas Eliot tulip, the Brown bathroom stall, the Smith storage closet 3B, the Francis fire exit and a bi-annual continental breakfast endowed by the Student Life Editorial Board 2010-2011. We can only hope to see the day when no square inch of this grand institution of higher education lies unclaimed. Until then, we embrace the naming of our Holmes and our homes.


The Danforth Editorial Board

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