Sometimes I think naming things after people is a little strange. I get that it’s a way of remembering people, usually donors, but sometimes it seems to get out of hand. For example, sitting in the front pew of the Immaculate Misconception of Saint Mary Church in York, PA, and thinking, who is this person? Do they own this pew? And does that pave the way for a seat in heaven?
Also, arriving at my office of the position from which I recently retired and seeing that that room was in memory of someone—this also seemed a little odd to me. I felt like I should burn incense or something.
Anyway, as I grow older, the idea of legacy becomes more important, and I think about this naming thing more often. As I said at the retirement party arranged by some of my friends, my students are my true legacy. At the same time, I’d like to be remembered in other ways, such as having my podcast and my website continue beyond my demise.
Now, returning to the prompt: Ideally a theatre or performing arts center named after me would be best. Since I have spent my life doing theatre and call myself first and foremost a theatre person, this makes the most sense. But is someone ponying up a couple of million dollars for that? It seems unlikely at this point.
More likely is a scholarship, and I have put the feelers out to see how that might happen. My intended recipients would be undergrads in theatre/performance studies at UC Berkeley. And I currently have some investments that, when they mature, will line up nicely for that institution’s need for the starting donation. They need to call me back, but I can’t believe they’d turn down free money. So we shall see!
One thought on “You Name It!”
Hello, I hear what you’re saying about a legacy & being remembered. The way I see things happening after I’m gone. Although being remembered is a great idea, I am not that keen on the idea of continued dialogue about me. I will have already had my time in this world, I was born lived my life whether good or bad, I did what I did, it satisfied some & not so much from others. It is what it is or was. You will be judged no matter what Legacy you leave, no matter what controversial situations you were part of. Generally speaking, and this is only my opinion, most Americans are judgemental, including myself, Judging others, We have been doing this for centuries, according to some Psychologists, I guess we do it for several reasons, out of jealousy, to make us feel better or superior, we judge others because we have some dislike for them, I don’t all the why’s or all the different reasons that it happens. The bottom line is we as Americans are Judgemental towards others, and without merit. Back to being remembered or having some building dedicated in your memory, I take a pass, I don’t want to give an open opportunity to those that remain in this messed up world a chance to trash-talk me. I did my time in this Universe, allow me to move on, others are now taking up that space where I was, it’s their turn. I know there will be some who don’t agree with me, and I’m OK with that. This is my opinion only, if you feel different about leaving a memorable legacy, and you feel strongly about it, that’s a great thing. We do what we feel is the thing to do, nothing more nothing less. GG
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