Campus Briefs

Hans GumbrechtA POWER BOOST FOR THE HUMANITIES   In a drive to make arts and humanities more “visible and dynamic” at Stanford, President Gerhard Casper announced in October a $12 million endowment injection. The money will fund four new faculty positions at $3 million each, an increase by $1 million apiece over regular faculty posts. In his annual State of the University address, Casper said he hopes the enhanced slots will help to recruit new talent to the school. But still more visibility for the humane arts is planned: the “Stanford Presidential Lectures and Symposia in the Humanities and Arts.” Directed by Hans Gumbrecht (pictured), a professor of French and Italian, the program will attract 20 outstanding figures, authors Toni Morrison and Umberto Eco among them.

READY FOR A RAINY DAY?   Baby boomers, beware. Half your households aren’t saving enough for the inevitable rainy day, according to a study by Stanford University economist B. Douglas Bernheim and polling organization Luntz Research. After looking at bank accounts, money market funds, bank CDs and non-retirement investments, the researchers concluded that few have put aside enough cash to cover a financial emergency. It’s hard to blame them ­ boomers are pressed on all sides: their children’s upcoming college tuition, their parents’ possible poor health and their own retirement down the road. The study used this rule of thumb: Set aside three to six months of gross income, or $15,000 to $30,000, for someone making 60K a year.

A BANNER YEAR   The university took in $312.3 million through fundraising activities and gifts in the 1996-97 fiscal year ending Aug. 31. Yes, that’s $600,000 less than the record-breaking 1995-96 year. But look beyond the number to several promising trends: The number of donors was up 6.5 percent, to 52,844; donations to the Stanford Fund, which helps finance undergraduate education and student life, rose by nearly $1 million to $6.1 million; and Senior Gift participation increased 4 percentage points, to 62 percent.

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