Forum: Luke Seemann04.03.98
For right price, my soul
could bear your name

Northwestern has welcomed a new member to an elite club of immortals.

Joining the Ryans, Searles and Norrises are the Weinbergs, the latest fat 'Cats to have their name permanently attached to an NU fixture.

Well, "permanent" in the sense of "until someone with more money comes long." Just ask the Dyche family, which saw its totem of immortality, Dyche Stadium, renamed Ryan Field last year after a hefty donation from Board of Trustees Chairman Patrick Ryan.

This cottage industry of buying and selling names could easily take on higher stakes.

"Sure, Joseph Medill was a journalism pioneer," Dean Ken Bode may wisely ask, "but what has he done for us lately?"

Next thing I know, I'll be writing alumni checks to The Rupert Murdoch School of Journalism. (Unless Bode has change for a twenty, in which case I'll be able to pay cash.)

Can we rename the entire university? W. Gomer Moneybags University has a nice ring to it. So does University of Andersen Consulting, for that matter, if we decide to go corporate.

Welsh-Ryan-Harrah's Arena, anyone? Yes, change is in the air.

I spend a lot of time thinking about names, and I guess I wouldn't mind changing my own. So, following our trustees' lead, I hereby put the "for sale" sign on my name and identity.

Naming people instead of buildings and colleges makes sense, if just for the inevitable cursing.

If I had a nickel for every time I've heard "Frickin' Medill" or "CAS sucks," our football team would play at Seemann Field instead of Ryan Field. I don't think the Weinberg family has anticipated how many times students will mutter "Stupid Weinberg!" when they can't get the classes they want.

In contrast, I am a fine, upstanding citizen. I have steady contact with thousands of people; and my career as a journalist ensures that my name, whatever it may be, is constantly in the public's eye.

My rates are fair and affordable.

Want to name me after you for a day? Only $50. Cheap! I can be Luke Seemann one day, J.B. Pritzker the next, Shirley Temple the third and you, gentle reader, on the fourth.

Many consumers shop in bulk for the bargains, so I offer a discount rate to the donor who would like to name me for an entire year: 365 days for only $15,000.

And for the next great pinball heir who seeks a permanent legacy, lifetime rights can be had for $200,000. If I but live to see the year 2069, your name will have lasted longer than William Dyche's did.

Don't think that this offer is just for the living. What better way to honor a passed loved one? I can see me now: The Harry Caray Memorial Person.

Groups can pool their resources, too. If the starting five of the Bulls chipped in, for instance, I would be christened Dennis Michael Toni Scottie Luc Seemann.

Everything has its price, including me. But this is a fire sale; everything must go! You, too, can name my car, my apartment, even the shirt on my back.

But not my future children. I could never put a price tag on my children.

That's because they get sold at auction.

-Luke Seemann is a Medill senior. He can be reached at [email protected].

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