Here is the text of the second of two posters in our new Unbound Campaign, “The Dis-honoring of Edward S. Harness.”
This version presents more detail concerning the dis-honoring of Edward S. Harkness that will take place today, as Justice Kagan officially completes the process of stripping his name off the building formerly known as “Harkness Commons,” and renaming the building in honor of a cowardly tax cheat who committed suicide rather than face justice.
Some photos and links have been added for illustration, but the text is as exactly as it appears on the poster itself (see the image of the actual poster below).
Remember the Harkness Commons?
Well you can forget it.
Thanks to former Dean Elena Kagan, who renamed it after a cowardly tax cheat.
The Harkness Commons was dedicated in 1950 in honor of Edward S. Harkness.
In 1929 Harkness gave Harvard $174 million in today’s dollars ($13 million then) to build its massive undergraduate House system. A Yale alumnus, he also donated massive sums for Yale’s House system and for other projects.
Modest to a fault, Harkness insisted that nothing at Harvard be named after him. After his death, Harvard convinced his widow to allow the dedication of Harkness Commons so there would be a lasting monument to his philanthropic spirit.
But Dean Elena Kagan agreed to rename the building the “Caspersen Student Center,” in honor of Finn M.W. Caspersen, for a donation of a measly $30 million (less than a fifth of the Harkness donation, in real dollars).
Caspersen was an undistinguished executive who inherited a successful company from his daddy.
He was respected mainly for his knowledge of horses and French wines. In exchange for millions in earlier donations, Caspersen had gotten all four of his even less impressive sons (Finn Jr., Erik, Samuel, and Andrew) admitted to the Law School.
Caspersen was a $100 million tax cheat who would have done time with Bernie Madoff if he hadn’t blown his brains out in 2009, as IRS agents were closing in on his secret Liechtenstein bank accounts. His wife fled to Florida, dodging creditors.
Sorry, students and alumni, that’s life in the Legal-Capital Complex.
Harvard Law used to have a monument to a modest philanthropist.
Now it has a monument to a cowardly tax cheat who killed himself to avoid prison.
The corrupt donor is in the ground.
The corrupt fundraiser is on the Supreme Court.
Money talks. Kagan walks.
An Unbound Campaign.
Here’s an image of the poster: