Spectrum | Dec. 16 5:00 pm EST

Mysterious benefactor shows holiday spirit

Stephen Snowder / Spec

A strange man dressed in all black, a beanie and sunglasses just visited the General Studies Lounge and gave several students in the room $50 cash in an envelope along with a letter, according to Spectrum Editor Stephen Snowder. About 15 people received envelopes in total.

“He looked questionable when he came in—no one knew who he was. This was quite a nice surprise. I will use the money to pay for my friends’ alcohol tonight,” said Joseph Patito, a GS Political Science major and envelope recipient.

Math/Econ major Boris Beltinov was also pleasantly surprised, “I was like, who wears sunglasses at 4 p.m. in New York, indoors? I’m going to spend the money on beer. I mean, books of course, for next semester…”

Text of the letter below:

Dear Students,

Please accept this small token as an anonymous gift to you for the holidays. While not substantial, it is meant to inspire you to take a break from finals, see a movie, or have some friends out for dinner. It is the little things, and the memories we create along the way, which are the most important.

During this time of year it is so essential to give thanks for what is most important to each of us. I have found that Columbia has served as the foundation of my personal accomplishments. This year, I am thankful for each of you and the hard work you put into each and every college and school here. I can honestly say that I am consistently humbled by all of your achievements, and all I ask is that you take a bit of time for yourself and your loved ones to remember the small things in life during this time of year. I have no doubt that you will continue to impress not only myself, but the world at large.

So go ahead, take an hour, grab a coffee, see a friend, and enjoy…

I want to wish you nothing but the happiest of holidays and the best wishes for the New Year.

Very Truly Yours,

[Illegible signature]

GS ’07




  1. anon • December 16, 2011 at 5:03 pm • Reply

    a bit creepy, but nice nonetheless

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  2. Next year • December 16, 2011 at 6:23 pm • Reply

    THIS GSer won’t be straying from the lounge at all

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  3. RoBo • December 16, 2011 at 6:56 pm • Reply

    These are the types of gestures that give GS a sense of community that no other school at Columbia possesses. I hope that after I move on and establish a life for myself, I will be able to give back in similar ways. Thanks mystery alumnus. I hope I get to see you next year.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  4. GS '12 • December 16, 2011 at 7:26 pm • Reply

    Spirit of the holidays indeed!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  5. CCalum • December 16, 2011 at 8:42 pm • Reply

    That is really nice. What a good person.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  6. SenatorEmeritus • December 17, 2011 at 5:59 pm • Reply

    Was that you?

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  7. cynical • December 18, 2011 at 9:57 am • Reply

    the rich get richer

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
  8. in the spirit of the season • December 18, 2011 at 10:23 am • Reply

    Good to know that somebody has some sense of perspective around here. So easy to get caught up in finals and school stress that we forget the family and friends who helped us to get to where we are now.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Leave a Comment

Be nice. Don't use HTML tags. And consider reading our full comment policy.