Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Did they 'blah blah' fundraising? You can't 'blah blah' fundraising.

Imagine receiving this fundraising letter from your alma mater:

With the recent economic downturn and loan crisis, it has become even more important for Framingham State College to receive your support. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

That's the letter the Framingham Alumni Association sent out to thousands of their recent graduates this past September. A letter that has since become known as the "blah blah" letter.

What did the alums of the small Massachusetts college do? Did they pony up? Did they recognize the humorous send up of traditional college fundraising letters?

No, they stamped their little feet and said they were offended because the school insulted their intelligence, was unprofessional, and absurd and ridiculous.

They blah blahed fundraising? You can't blah blah fundraising! (Or is that yada yada?)

Steve Whittemore, current president of the college student government association, told the MetroWest Daily News the school wasn't wrong in its creativity. He just didn't agree with their attempt at humor.

"I thought it was absolutely absurd and ridiculous," Whittemore said.

Wah wah wah. Or should I say, blah blah blah?

You can see the actual alumni letter here.

While I admit that using "blah" 137 times might not be the best method, it was at least a new approach. I would hope the students and alums wouldn't be so sensitive as to get their panties in a bunch because someone wanted to try something new and humorous. What should they have used? A bunch of rich white kids in Abercrombie & Fitch sweatshirts?

Christopher Hendry, Framingham's VP of College Advancement, later said it was a "misguided and embarrassing attempt to connect with alumni in a different way."

Give the poor guy a break. He was new, wanted to try something new, and get out of the same old BS that most fundraising letters use.

In his defense, they received $2,000 from 40 alums who had never donated to the school before. Maybe Hendry's next letter includes the phrase "nyah nyah nyah."

Just don't look for anything creative with a sense of humor to come out of Framingham anytime soon. Especially the students.

(Hat tip to Randy Cassingham of This is True for the heads up.)
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