Sandy Weill's Wife Tells Struggling College To Go F*ck Itself

She'll just find a college that will name itself after her.
Author:
Publish date:

Earlier this year, former First Lady of Citigroup Joan Weill made an offer to the students of a small college upstate: that there would be $20 million with their name on it if the school would do just one little thing for her. She wasn't looking for a big, lavish gala in her honor, or an honorary degree, or a shoutout in the student newspaper. All she asked was that the school, which has been called Paul Smith’s College since it was founded in 1946, would rename itself. Joan Weill-Paul Smith's College doesn't sound awkward at all, right? It's seamless and perfect. All she wanted was to give that Paul fellow, who, y'know, the school was named after, a little nudge to the right. Unfortunately for the college, a judge felt differently about seeing Joan's name in bright lights.

Sanford I. Weill, a Wall Street billionaire, and his wife, Joan, have decided not to donate $20 million to a struggling northern New York college after a judge ruled that it could not be renamed for Mrs. Weill, college officials said on Thursday. The donation had been offered on the condition that Paul Smith’s College change its name to Joan Weill-Paul Smith’s College. Mrs. Weill has been actively involved with the college’s development for more than two decades and served on the board of trustees. But a state judge this month refused to allow the college to break the terms of its founder’s will, which required that the college be named Paul Smith’s in perpetuity, to accept the donation.

Will the Weills still give the money sans the college remaking itself in Joan's likeness? You probably know the answer to that. And don't even think about suggesting they do it exchange for a building or two. This is Joan Weill we're talking about, not a common streetwalker.

“I think it’s unfortunate that the Weills are not going to give the money,” Mark Schneider, a lawyer who represented alumni who opposed the name change, said. “If they really wanted to give a gift to the school, it shouldn’t be contingent on something as self-glorifying as naming the school after Mrs. Weill. They could have named something else.”

Anyway, onto Plan B. Does Joan Weill-Massachusetts Institute of Technology or Joan Weill-State University Of New York At Oneonta not have a fantastic ring to it?

After Ruling, Paul Smith’s College Won’t Get Weills’ $20 Million Renaming Gift [Dealbook]

Earlier: Sandy Weill’s Wife Isn’t Asking For Much

Related

Vikram Pandit Not Feeling Sandy Weill's Break-Up The Banks Call

About a month ago, retired Citi CEO Sandy Weill set his alarm an hour early, got out of bed when it was still dark, ate a piece of rye toast, told Joan he'd see her when he'd see her, took the elevator downstairs to wait for the car that drove him out to Englewood Cliffs, and went on CNBC to proffer a small suggestion to Wall Street: break up the big banks. Perhaps you heard about it? Not many people were receptive to the notion of Weill giving them advice on the matter, which may or may not have had something to do with the fact that in his day, Weill couldn't get enough of big banks and was the man responsible for cobbling together the behemoth known as Citigroup, an institution so huge it can barely support its own weight. The response by most, in fact, was "Shut it, you old bag." But what about Vikram Pandit, the lucky guy who inherited the place? What did he think of Weill's tip? After giving it some good thought-- really and truly considering it-- for a few weeks, he's decided to take a pass: Citigroup’s chief executive has knocked back the idea of big banks being split up after calls from people such as his predecessor Sandy Weill. But not for the reasons you might think! Pandit actually agrees with Sando because if you think about it, Citi's already been broken up and is basically the bank it was before the merger that resulted in it needing firefighters to use a giant pulley system to lift it out of bed and get around every day. Pandit said Citi, formed in Mr Weill’s time with mergers such as the acquisition of Travelers in 1998, had already gone back to the basics of banking, and aside from some global markets businesses had sold most of the units from that deal. “What’s left here is essentially the old Citicorp,” he told the Financial Times. “That’s a tried and proven strategy. Why did it work? Because it was a strategy based upon operating the business and serving clients and not a strategy based on dealmaking. That’s the fundamental difference.” So we're all on the same page here. Citi Chief Rejects Calls For Bank Splits [FT]