By Gary Lim
BURNABY — Following the recent economic downturn, SFU administration announced a new revenue-bolstering program that is planned for 2013 earlier this week. The program, hailed as “groundbreaking” and “innovative” by early testers, would create a tiered pricing list or “menu” for the privilege of having one of the university’s fixtures, programs or buildings named after yourself.
The bold new initiative, spearheaded by director of media relations Jillian Wiseman, is the first of its kind in the country. The Peak sat down with Wiseman to discuss the program.
“Naming buildings in honour of alumni and companies who have pledged large sums of money to SFU isn’t new by any stretch. Look at the Beedies, the Shrums, and the West Malls. Each of these families has been very generous to SFU in the past and each are now left with a legacy. Something their future generations can look back on with a sense of pride, and that’s something money can’t buy. This is what we aim to change.
“Normally the charitable amounts needed for SFU to affix you or your company’s name on a piece of its iconic architecture are well out of reach of the average person. But with the new tiered pricing plan, we now offer several very affordable payment plans. Now, for the price of a tank of gas, future students can admire the official Benedict Reiners water stain.”
Preliminary research shows the pricing will range from just under 50 dollars to over several million, with the former affording a modest 1’ by 1’ section of linoleum in the AQ and the latter changing the name of the mountain on which the campus is built.
Professor of Psychology, Edwin Krause, writes about the program while speaking on the nature of eponymy in his new book Professor of Psychology, Edwin Krause.
“Throughout the ages people have sought to immortalize themselves in great works. But no one really has the time for any great works in this day and age, so instead we try to leave a physical mark on the world. Tombstones for instance, are little more than a rock with one’s name engraved on it, yet they’ve become a fixture of western burial rites.”
“To these people it doesn’t even matter that what they’re so proudly leaving their name turns out to be little more than poorly ventilated storage room. Because this is how they plan to live on. Just look at history, and all the terrible things that people to this day have attributed their names to. Alois Alzheimer, Lou Gehrig, Jeffery Double-murder.”
Interestingly enough, despite the infancy of the program it is already seeing some success, with keen investors lining up to bid for choice lots. Anyone with concerns or questions relating to the project is advised to attend the consultations on Wednesday July 11 in the Jim’s Pattison’s Pepsi-Cola Genocide Awareness Project Annex.