Dome goes viral

I still remember waking up on a Friday to an email informing an incident of someone stealing the Dome on top of Old Main. There were also two videos released on the missing dome. The videos went viral since it was reported to have reached nearly 130,000 people and had more than 53,000 views in total. The point of the joke was not solely for April Fool’s day’s sake. The dome was renovated in 2011 from donors’ sources. The real aim of the prank was to draw attention to the importance of donations for the college’s operation. The school’s statistics shows that the donors funded 20% of the school’s endowment. This source of funding provides money for Augustana to support the students, renovate the campus, and run its activities. On April Fool’s Day, there was a panel at the Gerber explaining the point of the joke and asked the students to help spread the message to other people about school funding. The State of Illinois has recently withdrawn funding on the Monetary Award Program (MAP), which means a large number of students at Augustana would not receive financial support from the State. I think this exemplifies the importance of private donors at times like this.