Do you still remember me? You might recollect a certain figure in the background of your graduation photos? Yes, that’s me. I'm standing there, possibly rotating. If it was late, I might have been lit up.
It’s hard to believe, but I have been stationed at Warwick for nearly fifty years now, having been deployed here in 1972.
In my time I have been puzzled over, worshipped, and on Union nights, it must be said, defiled. I have always generated a lively (though to me somewhat perplexing) curiosity as to the exact contents of my Koan-ness.
"What's inside the Koan?" many of you have asked. I could not possibly comment. "Can I sleep under it?" others have demanded. I can neither prevent nor condone such behaviour. Some might even ask why I put up with these indignities sometimes - but it's really very simple...
I love living on campus. I love the ducks who waddle around me, the students who race by to get to lectures, the music and lazy evenings in the summer, the crisp winter evenings when I glimmer with frost. But my very favourite time of year is, of course, graduation, when I get to see all my students in their finest hats and swishing capes. They and their families look so happy as they pose for photographs - photographs in which I feature prominently, as is right and proper (I’m looking at you, ‘Rootes’).
It's been wonderful to see my university developing so much over the years, but what saddens me is that so many talented young people won't have the opportunity to study here, or to marvel at my structural and aesthetic integrity, or stand around me making inane small talk about something called Top Banana. Just imagine it. A life without Koan. (I know, it's hard for me too.)
So that’s why I’m dictating – typing is beyond me – this letter to you today. I’ve set myself a fundraising target this year to raise money for some new scholarships. Since more people deserve to enjoy my magnificence, I’m lobbying to raise at last £60,000 for new Koan Scholarships.
Now, that’s a lot of money for a Koan to picture, but I have worked out that it’s about as many pound coins as could fit inside me, and coincidentally that’s ten new scholarships. Please can you help me?
- Your support would mean at least ten more graduating students
- More importantly, your support would mean at least another thousand more photographs in which I feature prominently.
I can't do a sponsored run (clearly), nor can I promise to do much in the way of throwing cold water over myself (although may I point out that this does happen quite a lot anyway, living, as I do, outside).
I can promise to make sure your money goes straight to scholarships. I can also promise to work really, really hard at trying to rotate faster.
Please donate now online where you can see all my supporters in their full glory.
Anyhow ... Thank you for reading and for taking some time to catch up with an old Koan. I suppose I should go - this place won't rotate itself, and I have some more pictures to pose for.
Why don't you drop by some time? I'm always happy to see an old friend, and you have the excuse of coming to one of the University's 50th birthday party celebrations! I've put the dates below.
p.s. My philosophical question for the day - if a lonely Koan writes a letter to 50,000 friends, and no one replies, just how heartbroken will a Koan be?