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Big Whoop: Mark J. Rowan’s Donation of $50 Million was 1.6% of His Net Worth, I Donated 1.7% of Mine


Photo (with edits) by Sergio Ortega / CC BY SA-3.0

Wow, big flex much? This dude Mark J. Rowan donated the biggest single donation to Wharton in the history of the school, at a quantity of $50 million. To put that into context, the donation was more than Amy Gutmann makes in a whole month. So, yeah, it’s a big deal.

But then again, is it really? According to sources on the internet, Rowan’s donation of $50 million dollars was only 1.6% of his net worth. To put that into perspective, 1.6% is somewhere between 1% and 2%. The thing is, last week I dropped a bunch of coins when I was walking through Huntsman and I was too embarrassed to pick them up, so I ended up inadvertently donating a whole $3.26 to Huntsman Hall all on my own. And after combining student loans with my income from last summer, that’s actually 1.7% of my net worth.

Really, I don’t feel all that different now that I’m such a philanthropist. Sure, I donated more of my net worth than Mark J. Rowan did, and I did it anonymously, but does that necessarily make me a better person? Well, yes, but does it mean that I’m the best person I know? Probably.

I never thought of myself as a Bill Gates type, but I guess these things just happen.