Claim: A university serves ice cream at every meal because a benefactor who donated a large sum of money stipulated that a portion of the funds be used for that purpose.
usual, this legend is told about a number of different colleges and universities.
Origins: Although many institutes of higher learning do indeed make ice cream available with every meal (either in a school-run cafeteria or a residence hall dining room), none of them does so specifically because a benefactor stipulated they do so as a
condition of his bestowing money upon the school. This tale tends to circulate in tandem with the "grieving benefactor imposed
a swim test requirement" legend. Both narratives most often mention Eleanor Elkins Widener, who endowed Harvard with millions of dollars and allegedly placed some unusual restrictions on how the money could be spent. According to Harvard, however, ice cream is served there every day not because of a donor's stipulation, but "because most kids like it."
Last updated: 9 June 2011
Mann, Elizabeth. "The First Abridged Dictionary of Harvard Myths."
The Harvard Independent. 9 December 1993 (pp. 10-11).
David Mikkelson founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.
Thank you for writing to us! Although we receive hundreds of e-mails every day, we really and truly read them all, and your comments, suggestions, and questions are most welcome. Unfortunately, we can manage to answer only a small fraction of our incoming mail.
Our site covers many of the items currently being plopped into inboxes everywhere, so if you were writing to ask us about something you just received, our search engine can probably help you find the very article you want.
Choose a few key words from the item you're looking for and click here to go to the search engine.
(Searching on whole phrases will often fail to produce matches because the text of many items is quite variable, so picking out one or two key words is the best strategy.)
We do reserve the right to use non-confidential material sent to us via this form on our site, but only after it has been stripped of any information that might identify the sender or any other individuals not party to this communication.