Students are well aware that their year at Harvard costs them a precious $34,350. It's hard to tell, though, where all that money goes on its way to making a difference in their lives.
Last October, the University announced that it had exceeded its $2.3 billion Capital Campaign goal, bringing Harvard's endowment to an unprecedented $14.4 billion. That money has helped fund everything from new wiring in Widener Library to an extra 60 feet of Memorial Hall.
But while the evidence of Harvard's wealth is all around, it can be difficult sometimes for undergraduates and faculty to see how these funds improves students' daily lives, with one department chair telling The Crimson that he sometimes does not have enough money to meet students' needs.
Clever budgeting, says Roderick L. MacFarquhar, chair of the Government Department, helps him extend his small piece of Harvard's billions.
"Harvard is a rich place, but it's not limitlessly rich," MacFarquhar says. "One of the ways it stays solvent is by taking good care of its money.
"We get a budget," he says, "and we work within it."
That's the lesson Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies Diana L. Eck has learned after two years as the Master of Lowell House.