You might recall that I am trying to participate in 56 adventures in my 56th year.  So, here’s another mini-adventure.  Yesterday I attending an fund-raising event offered by the University of Lethbridge. I have never gone to a “wine and dine” session for potential donors.  I felt a little strange being put into that category. I don’t consider myself a mover and shaker, nor am I a large donor. Yet, there I was.  I knew the event would be different when I noticed the lovely appies, including such unique dishes such as aio tuna in beetroot cups.  I also immediately noticed the free wine bar.  The uni spares no expense when it comes to impressing donors!  

So, I have to “wine” a little about this adventure. I have always had mixed feelings about these events.  I know that fundraising is a necessary evil for institutions. Yet, from the other side of tight budget, I have always been frustrated at the cost of these events.  Usually our budgets don’t even allow for coffee and donuts for staff events.  Yet somehow money is always found for senior admin events and donor extravaganzas.  I wish that officials would just call a spade a spade, and be upfront.  Tell us that you need money.  You don’t need to “wine and dine”.  Don’t waste money on free food and alcohol. Budgets are tight!  Offer a chance to visit and talk about the realities of institutional budgets.

I also have to whine about the quality of presentation offered at this event.  I have a personal vendetta against bad PowerPoint presentations.  I understand that academics are design experts, but please people – learn how to at least use appropriately sized fonts and emphasis colours to show a slide.  And please – don’t simply read a wordy slide to us.

Nevertheless, I did enjoy the evening.  I was once again reminded that I love academic learning.  I enjoyed learning about the state of the new Oral History Centre at the uni.  Good to know that oral history is alive and well in our area. Although I am a little concerned about the quality of the recordings, I was impressed that the center even exists.  

Anyway, that was my interesting mini-adventure.  I doubt that I will repeat it, but I can now say I’ve “been there, done that”!


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