Douglas Moll was shocked to read the e-mail from one of his former classmates announcing the progress toward his class’s 20-year reunion giving goals. He remembers thinking that the original goal would easily be achieved. But when the note came indicating that the percentage of his classmates who contributed to the University was well below the target—and he was among the members who had not given—Moll was spurred into action.
“I’m embarrassed that I never got off my butt and started chipping in some cash,” he said. “I was sitting there thinking this is pathetic. How in the world are we not able to hit this number?”
Moll, who is a professor of law at the University of Houston, admits this oversight despite the fact that he teaches at a state university. As a member of the faculty, he is constantly discussing fundraising and the idea that it’s not the amount of the gift but the percentage of alumni who give that is most important. So when he read that e-mail, he didn’t do what he usually does with such messages (delete it). Instead, he went to the link at the bottom of the page and, within seconds, was able to set up a donation.
“I’m at a point in my life where I am counting my blessings more than I ever used to,” Moll said. “I have two nine-year-old kids and we make a good living. But I have just started to come around to the idea that the education I received and the reputations of the institutions I attended have played a major role in my success. I’ve just come around to it 20 years too late.”