A professor at City College of New York is reporting that he discovered $180,000 in cash donations after opening a box that had been mailed to him several months ago.
Physics professor Vinod Menon told reporters that he noticed the nondescript box mailed from Pensacola, Florida, among junk mail when professors returned for in-person classes this semester. He, however, assumed it was some sort of memento sent by a former student and put off opening the box.
On September 1st, however, Menon decided to open to box and discovered the cash in the form of $50 and $100 bills.
“I’ve never seen this kind of money in real life in cash form,” Menon told CNN. “I’ve never seen it except in movies, and so, yeah, I was shell shocked and I just did not know how to react.”
Menon also reported that along with the cash was an unsigned letter stating that the gift was from a student who graduated from the college “a long time ago” with a double major in physics and mathematics. They then went on to get a MA in physics there and eventually ended their educational career a double PhD in physics and astronomy.
“Assuming that you are (a) bit curious as to why I am doing this, the reason is straightforward: the excellent educational opportunity available to me — which I took full advantage of at CCNY (and Stuyvesant High School) — gave me the basis to continue to develop,” the letter said.
The letter went on to say that the donor had “a long, productive, immensely rewarding” scientific career and asked that the money be used to help junior and senior students who are also double majoring in physics and math and may need financial assistance.
Once the gift was confirmed as a legit donation, the CUNY board of trustees voted to approve a resolution accepting the money.
According to Menon, tuition at CCNY is around $7,500 per year, so the gift will provide scholarships for almost a decade.