Many alumni joke that their school’s development office always seem to find them to ask for money. The joke was told about Bates College in 2004 and about Harvard University in 2007 and 2011. It’s not known when the joke originated.
Bates College (Lewiston, ME)
‘Be curious, compassionate, committed,’ graduates told in 138th commencement
By Bates News. Published on May 31, 2004
Lindholm also won the biggest laugh of the day with a joke about Bates, Bowdoin and Colby men stranded on a desert island — chastised by his fellows for doing nothing to attract rescuers, the Bates man says, “I’m not worried. The Development Office will find me.”
Faust, Pilbeam greet freshman parents
November 1, 2007
Three young college graduates are marooned on a desert island. The Princeton graduate gets to work building a signal fire. The Yale graduate runs to the beach to spell out a big H-E-L-P in the sand.
Meanwhile, the Harvard graduate takes a seat in the shade with a coconut martini. “What are you doing?” the two frantic workers ask.
“I’m from Harvard,” she says. “The Development Office will find me.”
Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch
Fundraising: They will find me
Times-Dispatch Staff | Posted Jul 12, 2011
The Yale news recalls a jest regarding another Ivy. It seems that three friends — one from Harvard, one from Dartmouth and one from Princeton — went sailing in the South Pacific. A violent storm wrecked their boat; the sailors escaped to a desert island. The Dartmouth and Princeton fellows began putting notes into bottles, lighting fires and arranging coconuts on the beach to say, “SOS, help us.”
The Harvard guy did nothing. His buddies asked him why he seemed unconcerned. “I went to Harvard,” he reminded them. “The development office will find me.”
Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch
Today’s top opinion: Wrap-up
Posted: Saturday, February 22, 2014 12:00 am
And speaking of colleges and revenue: Some years ago, three friends – one from Harvard, one from Dartmouth and one from Yale – set out on a voyage to the South Seas. Their ship wrecked during a storm, and they washed ashore on a desert island. The yachtsmen from Dartmouth and Yale stuffed messages into bottles, lit fires and used coconuts to spell out SOS. The Harvard guy just sat there. When asked why he did not seem worried, he explained, “I went to Harvard. The development office will find me.”
The Harvard Crimson
May 23, 2016
$6.5 Billion. Now What?
BY ANDREW M. DUEHREN AND DAPHNE C. THOMPSON, CRIMSON STAFF WRITERS
There’s an old joke that Tamara E. Rogers ’74, vice president for alumni affairs and development, likes to tell about Harvard fundraising.
Two people, she says, are stuck on a desert island. One of them starts panicking, but the other one is completely calm. So the panicked one turns to the calm one and asks: “Why are you so relaxed?”
The calm one, as Rogers tells it, says, “I went to Harvard. The development office will find me wherever I am.”
Rogers’s joke, meant to lampoon Harvard’s famed fundraising apparatus, belies a certain truth: When it comes to raising money, the University doggedly pursues its donors.