When he went back to teaching by himself this semester, Vinod Menon, a professor of physics at City College of New York, Harlem, looked at the stack of mail in his office and found a cardboard box addressed to him. Inside, what you never expected to find: a cash donation, it counts New York times.
Inside the box, bundles of banknotes totaling $180,000 were accompanied by a letter explaining that the amount was a donation aimed at helping the neediest physics and math students at City College.
In that document, the donor wrote the donor’s motives: “Assuming you’re a little curious as to why I’m doing this, the reason is simple,” explaining that he had “a long time ago” seized the “great educational opportunity” of attending both Stuyvesant High School and her master’s degree in Physics from City College, which led to a “long, productive and highly rewarding scientific career.”
For Vinod Menon, the discovery was a “complete shock”, as he had never heard him “talk about anything like that”. Because of the justification written in the letter, the professor noted that the donation amount was less than the dollar amount and more than “a proof of what the Department of Physics has been providing all these years.”
Nothing is known about the donor: the name that appears on the sender – Kyle Beasley – does not appear in the foundation’s records, and, accordingly, is counted as a bogus. According to those responsible for mail delivery, the box should have been in the professor’s office since March.
But City College’s history makes the donation even more exciting: The Department of Physics has a long and distinguished history, where in 1921 Albert Einstein gave one of his first lectures in the country, and three of his former students have already been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.
After investigating the donation – and verifying that it was not money of criminal origin, the Foundation officially accepted the anonymous donation: from now on, it will be used for scholarships.
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