|(603 words; posted Friday, Dec. 6; to be composted Friday, Dec. 13)|
Our “S LATE 60” list of America’s biggest contributors to charity in 1996 originally stated that Bill Gates gave $15 to Harvard this year. The correct amount is $15 million. The editor, Washington editor, New York editor, deputy editor, and associate editors all wish to make clear that they had nothing to do with this grotesque error. It is entirely the fault of S LATE’s four young and defenseless editorial assistants, each of whom will be dealt with in the way we’re sure Mr. Gates would wish.
So anyway, after that $15 was changed to $15 million, our “S LATE 60” list of America’s biggest contributors to charity in 1996 stated that Bill Gates gave $15 million to Harvard and $12 million to the University of Washington, for a total of $37 million. More recently, taking advantage of advanced computer software developed by Microsoft Corp., we have recalculated that amount and determined that the sum of $15 million and $12 million is probably somewhat closer to $27 million than to our original estimate of $37 million. Moreover, this recalculation has the unfortunate effect of dropping Mr. Gates from No. 9 to No. 10 on the “S LATE 60” list.
“Unfortunate?” observed Mr. Gates when we pointed this out to him. “Unfortunate? I’ll say it’s unfortunate. It’s unfortunate for you, buddy. Who’s No. 9 now?”
“A couple named Bass from Texas,” we croaked piteously. “They gave $20 million to Yale and $10 million to Duke.”
“What, them?” he said. “They’re ahead of me? This is too much. Have them … have them … oh, have them invited to a fund-raiser. They seem like extremely generous people.”
Wait, we’re almost through. The following listing was inexplicably dropped from the “S LATE 60.” It should have been No. 28:
PETER KARMANOS–a $15 million grant to the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute from this Michigan businessman in honor of his wife. The institute is affiliated with Wayne State University and the Detroit Medical Center. The gift is part of a five-year, $75 million campaign.Our apologies to Mr. Karmanos. Also to Lenox Baker Jr. and Frances Watt Baker, whose two gifts, which had been listed separately, should have been combined, putting them at $12.5 million and No. 33 on the list. Also to James Carreker, No. 52 (well, now No. 54), who is CEO of Aspect Telecommunications, not Wyndham Hotels. (And you can imagine how easy it is to confuse those two entities.) That’s all, at least for now. We’ve had many communications about people we may have missed and about charitable donations too recent to have made our original list. We intend to accumulate these reports, check them out, and publish an amended list in January. It’s not too late to sign up for yourself, your friends, or your family. And it couldn’t be easier! Simply send a check for at least $5 million to your favorite charity, and send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org telling us you’ve done so. We’ll publish your name and the amount in the “S LATE 60.” And we may even get them right.
| Not a Correction (Whew!)|
What with one thing and another, email@example.com is a busy little inbox these days. It has been inundated not only with mail on various overlooked philanthropists, but with would-be S LATE contributors, players of the name game, and people who want to get–or want their friends to get–our weekly e-mail delivery of S LATE. We don’t mind. In fact, we’re delighted. But keep in mind that you can also sign up for e-mail delivery directly from our S LATE Help page. And, it’s free until February.