Dear Mr. Sunshine:
Recently, my son and I took a tour of the Charles Gates Dawes Mansion where the Evanston Historical Society is now housed. During the course of this tour, the docent mentioned that General Dawes had left the mansion as a bequest to Northwestern University, and that the Historical Society leases the premises from the university for an annual rent of one dollar.
Well, on the way home, my son made mention of how nice it might be to live in the former Dawes Mansion and suggested that we should offer the university a higher rent. While the sum of $1— might have reflected the market conditions of 1956, when the university took possession of the properties, let me assure you that conditions have changed. They have, in fact, changed so radically that I am prepared to offer the university twice this amount annually to lease the house! That’s right: $2— cash American! Think of what a wind-fall it would be if Northwestern could double its return on this investment! While I am not intimately familiar with the economics of running a major institution of higher learning, I should think that doubling your return might just prove sufficient to endow a professorship!
I know that this offer might sound too good to be true, but I am willing to sign a lease immediately! Given the tremendous financial pressures upon private institutions today, I am more than certain your board of regents will snatch up this offer post haste, so I have enclosed a check covering both the first month’s rent and a month’s rent as security deposit (i.e. 2/12ths of $200, or 33 1/3¢, rounded up to the nearest whole cent).
I look forward to hearing from you. Please let us know in your letter of reply how soon we can move in.
Yours For A Better World, R.M. Schultz
P.S. Rest assured that we are clean living, church going folks that have no pets and can supply the most reputable of character references.
11 April 2002
Letter to Mr. Eugene Sunshine, Senior Vice President for Business and Finance, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL:
Posted by The Dutchman at 4:36 PM