Of Parking and Presidents
“I was in the M.B.A. program that met every Saturday,” says Ed Fink, a 1958 M.B.A. graduate. “At the time, I was traveling a lot on business, and getting to class was tough. I was always getting there at the last minute, and by the time I pulled in, all of the parking spots were gone except this one. It said, ‘Reserved for the President.’ Well, I never saw him, and I didn’t think he would be working on a Saturday, so I just pulled in. Every Saturday it was the same way. Eventually I started getting tickets, which I just stuck in my glove compartment.
“Well, as you’re getting ready to graduate, you get a letter saying ‘You have to pay any debts or you won’t get your sheepskin.’ I thought it was just a general notice. The next thing I know, I get a call from the president’s office: ‘Father O’Connor wants to speak to you.’ I show up and he says, ‘Edward, come in. I want to talk to you.’ I thought, ‘Uh-oh.’ Father O’Connor was this big Irish man and your first impression of him is, ‘This guy’s John Wayne. Hello, pilgrim.’ Very intimidating. Anyway, he says, ‘Edward, one of the benefits of this job is you get your own parking space, and you’ve been parking in it. Do you know how much time I’ve spent driving around trying to find another spot?’ I said, ‘You work on Saturdays?’ He said, ‘Yes, I do. Now we’ve got to come to grips with it. You’re a businessman. Well, this is a business decision.’
“He starts adding up what the tickets were worth and says, ‘I’m going to forget about this, but you’re going to be the first one from your class to make a donation to Xavier. Does that meet with your approval?’ I was scared out of my wits. I came back and paid in cash. Put it right in the good father’s hands.”