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String Attached to Gift Turns Harvard Red

November 13, 1987|United Press International

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Crimson-faced officials at Harvard University today were reconsidering a Texas couple's proposed $500,000 gift in the wake of revelations the donors were to be given prestigious titles in exchange, a spokesman said.

The proposed agreement, published in the school newspaper The Harvard Crimson, would have given Charles C. Dickinson 3d and Joanne W. Eaton Dickinson the title "Officers of the University"--positions normally reserved for instructors and administrators.

The donation was to go to the student loan program at the university's Kennedy School of Government, but school Dean Graham Allison was still studying the matter today.

Dean Reviewing Matter

"The dean is reviewing this matter very carefully," Kennedy School spokesman Steve Singer said. "Whether or not the contribution to our student loan forgiveness program goes ahead is unclear right now."

The Dickinsons, oil millionaires from Wichita Falls, Tex., also were said to be reconsidering their offer.

A memo to Allison from his assistant, Geralyn White, and published in the Crimson, said Joanne Dickinson wanted to know, "What is the most prestigious title she can buy for $250K?" and "How much would it cost to be on the advisory committee?"

White quoted Joanne Dickinson as saying:

"Charles and I need an identity. We cannot very well say we are philanthropists at cocktail parties. We want to be affiliated with Harvard."

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