Harvard tops UVA, loses 22%

Harvard University, which, like UVA, uses the so-called "Yale model" of investing its endowment, is now reporting a 22 percent loss, which is more than UVA's alleged 18 percent loss.


You're right to use the word "alleged," Hawes, since UVa's loss will prove to be much larger than 18%.

And what you don't mention is how much larger Harvard's endowment is compared to Virginia's. What's that number?

S&P is down 40%; Dow is down 40%. Give UVa a break for God's sake.

Thanks, for the article, Dave.

To clarify slightly: after a couple of years of daily onslaughts on the marble, numerous calls to the over-worked downtown constables, and witnessing moms and dads in minivans and SUVs dropping their cute little skaterboyz off outside our door, I called the City's wonderful Facilities Management office and told them that their historic marble was being vandalized into oblivion.

(I'm so disappointed that Dave didn't quote my observation that not all of these guys are cute little skaterboyz; some are big honkin' college-age skaterdudes, bigger and uglier than the old historical society director.)

A couple of weeks later, two courteous gentlemen from the City came by, agreed that there was a problem, and told me what they were going to do.

I said, "Great!"

I've done the research, and I'm convinced that these "skateblocker" bars the City made or acquired are pretty much standard around the country, and are the least evil of all the alternatives. (I sincerely doubt that the BAR would approve the "architectural devices shaped like flowers, vines, frogs, starfish, arches, and even trolley cars" that Dave found so charming.)

My bottom line is that, as has been the tradition since I was a little boy coming to the McIntire Library, toddlers still can use the marble edge as a balancing beam as their moms and dads walk along beside them. And, as Dave quoted our favorite little vandal:

"'It's impossible to skate on the curb now,' says a 13-year old skateboarder, who points out that the sharp, smooth, slanted edge of the curb was ideal for doing 50-50s, nose grinds, and krooks, tricks where a rider grinds the board and its trucks (axles) along the ledge."

I apologize to the BAR before not coming to them first before I pointed out to the City that they needed to act. Maybe the BAR can come up with a better alternative, and publicize some guidelines. How would they suggest we keep skaters from "grinding" our historic downtown edifices?

One idea I had:

It was, in fact, I who came out with a videocamera (no tape in it) and pretended to video
the Skaterboyz. I told them that the police had asked us to document who was destroying the marble so we could bill their parents for the damage. They ran away, but were back again with an attitude once they figured it out the joke.

Maybe with all these new surveillance cameras the City's installing, we really can bill Mom and Dad.

One last request: can we put one of those cameras in the (public) garden behind the McIntire Building so all the street people will stop sleeping and pooping and having parties there? I get tired of cleaning up after them.

Dr. Douglas Day

Oh, one last thing. It's Mrs. Margaret O'Bryant, not "O'Brien", who is the librarian of the Historical Society's collection. Y'all quote her often enough, surely her name should be in your spellcheck by now.

Thanks again,


This is very bizarre! Drilling holes and then bolting horribly ugly bars on the marble to protect it? It sounds like the cure was worse than the disease. I really wonder how serious the damage caused by the skateboarders was or was the problem really just the presence of the annoying kids? There had to be a better solution than drilling holes into the marble.

I wonder what would have happened if Oliver Kuttner or Gabe Silverman had done something like this without the blessing of the BAR.

I'm guessing then, Mr. Day, that you don't view skateboarding as a legitimate sport like soccer or baseball? You'd rather these kids be inside playing video games than outside getting some fresh air and exercise? After all, any time teenage boys get together to have a little fun they must be planning some sort of drug deal or assault, right?

If the marble was really getting chipped than I agree there's a problem...but Kevin's right. The bars are hideous, and I find it hard to believe that a "historical society" would condone such a thing if skateboarders weren't involved.

Street Hockey is a legitimate sport too. Do you want me playing in a parking garage where your car is parked? Hockey balls don't do much damage when they hit your car... And that stick blade only left a little scratch...

Or hardball on the street you're parked on?

As for the ugly metal bars, they are just little L shaped brackets. The same thing could have been made from something like cultured marble (countertop material) that would have blended in and most people wouldn't have noticed the addition.

I don't want kids playing street hockey and smashing my car and I don't want them tearing up the marble blocks outside of the Historical Society. Still there had to be a better way to stop them than by ruining the marble by drilling holes in it. The bars are ugly but the material they're made of is unimportant. What matters is the way they were fastened. Holes were drilled into the marble blocks. The holes are permanent and the marble cannot be restored.

The solution adopted is so extreme and contrary to any idea of preservation that I must wonder if animosity towards the skate punks overwhelmed common sense.

Kevin is right. The damage is done and there's no undoing it, but surely if someone with a cooler head -- not necessarily the BAR, just some person with some expertise but removed from the situation -- had been consulted, a better solution could have been devised. The marble is now, as Kevin says, irreparably ruined. The Society should be ashamed of itself.

I hope that the people with the city's Facilities Management department who did this don't do something similar again. It is surprising that they did not seem to know (care?) that changes in exterior architectural features in Historical structures or Historical Districts are not permitted without the approval of the BAR. What supervisor with the Facilities Management department approved this?