Emptying Their Pockets


Many observers wonder what the University with the largest endowment in the country will do with the income from the largest collegiate fund drive ever held. But coordinators of the $250-million, five-year Harvard Campaign say that if Harvard wants to put its best foot forward, it has to get its shoes repaired first.

University planners say that crumbling buildings, dwindling real incomes of Faculty members, skyrocketing tuition and inflation-ridden coffers require new funds to bolster the thinning day-to-day income Harvard receives from the interest of its hefty $1.6-plus billion endowment.

Aware that conducting this massive solicitation during the most severe financial strain in years may disturb alumni, officials kicked off the drive last October by stressing the need for Harvard to maintain quality control in these times. President Bok underscored this theme in his annual report.

Meanwhile, alumni committees began planning spring 1980 dinners to reach potential five-digit donors, while area alumni groups devised strategies for next spring's less ambitious solicitations.

But advanced pledges totalling more than $70 million--close to the entire $82 million raised during the last major fund drive in 1958--aren't easing worries that alumni financial shovels may not dig deep enough. See Section 4