We Will Buy Harvard Medical School


As the Editorial Board of the nation’s oldest continuously published college daily newspaper, we’ve seen quite a few things. But we were shocked — flabbergasted, even — to learn that it costs an entire $1 billion to secure naming rights to Harvard Medical School.

One billion? This makes absolutely no sense to us. It’s not like the Medical School is doing important work — isn’t it just another pre-professional school? Sure, they invent life-saving drugs and train doctors to administer them. But, frankly, who cares? Unless we’re talking about opioids, getting powerful drugs into the hands of thousands of Americans shouldn’t get your family’s name on any Harvard building.

We suppose that if a donor is willing to dish out $1 billion, Harvard should take it. But, seriously, why would a billionaire settle for their name on the Medical School? There are so many better ways to spend a billion. Just check out this list. No wonder no one has bought the naming rights yet.

Given that the Medical School is valued at such a ridiculous amount that we can’t fathom any billionaire donating, we have a proposal: What if we, The Harvard Crimson, bought it?


We know what you’re wondering, dear reader. Why would we even want to buy the Medical School in the first place?

Well, with newspaper subscription rates declining in papers across the country, this seems like a sort of perfect advertising opportunity for us. We just need to raise a little cash (unless Harvard makes an exception for us — please, President Gay!).

As a storied newspaper, we already have some crucial assets: mostly our writers and editors. We also own our beautiful building on Plympton Street. We’ll stop here, because our understanding of balance sheets is quite limited.

But now that the Medical School’s prestigious brand has hit the market, The Harvard Crimson Newspaper Medical School (HCNMS) is both the future of news and the future of medicine.

The “Newspaper” in the name “Harvard Crimson Newspaper Medical School” is essential because we don’t want to be confused with our school’s athletic teams, which, of course go by “the Harvard Crimson.” And even though Harvard is demanding the $1 billion donation be unrestricted in order to rename the Medical School, we will refuse to make the contribution unless one simple condition holds: Anytime HCNMS is written, it hyperlinks to The Harvard Crimson website. (In all official medical journals, as well as on all buildings, signs, and all non-online contexts too.)

We think this name change would greatly benefit the Harvard community. By connecting more people to our paper’s content, we can ensure that administrators at The Harvard Crimson Newspaper Medical School are held accountable. But more importantly, the hyperlinked signs will act as an additional source of ambient light for those walking home at night.

Unfortunately, we remain a little short of our fundraising goal, but we’re in talks with Kenneth C. Griffin ’89 to secure some financing. The rest, dear reader, we hope can come from you.

​​This staff editorial solely represents the majority view of The Crimson Editorial Board. It is the product of discussions at regular Editorial Board meetings. In order to ensure the impartiality of our journalism, Crimson editors who choose to opine and vote at these meetings are not involved in the reporting of articles on similar topics.

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