I Got My Bathroom

If you know me, you know that I have a weird obsession with bathrooms.  It goes back a long time and definitely has some strange psychologic underpinnings that I’m sure Dr. Freud would have fun discussing.  I don’t fight it – I just roll with it.

Several years ago, I had a discussion with Heidi Roizen about her failed attempt to get her name on a bathroom at Stanford during their fundraising drive for a new building on campus.  The rejection came with the admonishment that it wasn’t an appropriate thing to do.  I laughed and told Heidi – "no problem – I’m sure I can get one at MIT in no time – they are more flexible in their thinking about what is appropriate."  Boy was I wrong – I’ve written about the story before on this blog if you are interested.   The bottom line is the request apparently went around the system before being crushed by the bureaucracy somewhere at MIT.  Their loss.

No such challenge at CU Boulder.  I wrote about the immediate response of ATLAS’s director John Bennett to my Stanford / MIT bathroom story.  Following is the result a few months later.

feldphoto

That’s me standing in the doorway of the second floor men’s room at ATLAS next to my plaque which says "“The Best Ideas Often Come At Inconvenient Times – Don’t Ever Close Your Mind To Them.”

John – nicely done.  The Boulder Daily Camera interviewed me yesterday and wrote a fun story about it, including the punch line from John that ATLAS has seven other bathrooms that have the potential to be named. 

MIT – that could have been your money! 

  • Steve Bergstein

    Well, I've not always seen eye-to-eye with MIT's administration. This definitely seems to be their loss.

    I must say that I'm surprised at some of the negative comments attached the The Camera's article. You do a nice thing, make a subtle, tasteful joke about it, and people start criticizing you for it. Guess that there are assholes everywhere.

    My only surprise is that Amy didn't persuade you to name the women's room next door, too.

    • http://www.feld.com Brad Feld

      I've been trying to persuade Amy to name a bathroom at Wellsley!

  • http://www.marketing.fm Eric Friedman

    Congrats! I remember when your post first went up about this idea – glad to see it executed.

  • http://perpetualmotion.wordpress.com Greg

    Had taken a photo for you the last time you posted on bathroom dedications and hadn't remembered to send along until you reposted on the topic. I'm a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania where above the urinals in the library can be found the following inscription:

    “The relief you are now experiencing has been brought to you by the generous donation of Michael Zimman”

    thought you'd enjoy… photo here:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/21183340@N07/2218542

  • andrew

    i think you have too much time on your hands. lol.

  • Rick Leach

    The comments in the Camera were hysterical.

  • http://www.belshe.com/ Mike Belshe

    It should be in the stalls. “For a good time and easy funding call Brad @ 555-1212″

  • http://www.ventureblog.com David Hornik

    Congratulations. Instead of a named chair, you have a named stool.

  • http://stevenloi.tumblr.com Steven Loi

    Never expected this story through my RSS reader! I just met you yesterday at the TechStars party in Santa Clara… and I'm hoping I handshook some clean hands! j/p :)

  • http://blogs.newsgator.com/inbox Nick Harris

    Read this yesterday, then today saw that CNN Headline News was running it as well!

    • http://www.coloradostartups.com David G. Cohen

      Yep, it was running like every 2 hours on CNN. Must have been a “crappy” news day.

  • http://www.serviceuntitled.com Douglas

    I think that's pretty funny. I'm glad CU Boulder let you do it.

  • http://www.blogofdallas.com Rebecca Grubenman

    Your blog has given my husband and I, quite a few laughs! My husband says you both attended the same high school. He's now got me into blogging, and I'm hooked. Now just trying out how to make it better!
    LOVE the fact that you accomplished getting a bathroom named after you!!! And really like the plaque! It says it all! Way to go!

    • http://www.feld.com Brad Feld

      When did your husband graduate from JJ Pearce (I was 1983).

  • Adam Peters

    But what kind of Toilet Paper do they have in that stall? You don't want something rough for people to remember you by.

    Get the good stuff, 100% pure cotton at purelycotton.com. w00t!

  • Matt Harada

    I got a call from CU asking for money yesterday. She didn't mention that there were crappers up for sale. That would have changed the whole discussion!
    Nice work Brad

  • Greg

    Had taken a photo for you the last time you posted on bathroom dedications and hadn't remembered to send along until you reposted on the topic. I'm a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania where above the urinals in the library can be found the following inscription:

    "The relief you are now experiencing has been brought to you by the generous donation of Michael Zimman"

    thought you'd enjoy… photo here:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/21183340@N07/2218542

  • Eric Friedman

    Congrats! I remember when your post first went up about this idea – glad to see it executed.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld bfeld

    I've been trying to persuade Amy to name a bathroom at Wellsley!

  • Mike Belshe

    It should be in the stalls. "For a good time and easy funding call Brad @ 555-1212"

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/steve_bergs2127 steve_bergs2127

    Well, I've not always seen eye-to-eye with MIT's administration. This definitely seems to be their loss.

    I must say that I'm surprised at some of the negative comments attached the The Camera's article. You do a nice thing, make a subtle, tasteful joke about it, and people start criticizing you for it. Guess that there are assholes everywhere.

    My only surprise is that Amy didn't persuade you to name the women's room next door, too.

  • andrew

    i think you have too much time on your hands. lol.

  • David Hornik

    Congratulations. Instead of a named chair, you have a named stool.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/rick_leach4794 rick_leach4794

    The comments in the Camera were hysterical.

  • Douglas

    I think that's pretty funny. I'm glad CU Boulder let you do it.

  • Steven Loi

    Never expected this story through my RSS reader! I just met you yesterday at the TechStars party in Santa Clara… and I'm hoping I handshook some clean hands! j/p :)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/dgcohen dgcohen

    Yep, it was running like every 2 hours on CNN. Must have been a "crappy" news day.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld bfeld

    When did your husband graduate from JJ Pearce (I was 1983).

  • Nick Harris

    Read this yesterday, then today saw that CNN Headline News was running it as well!

  • Rebecca Grubenman

    Your blog has given my husband and I, quite a few laughs! My husband says you both attended the same high school. He's now got me into blogging, and I'm hooked. Now just trying out how to make it better!
    LOVE the fact that you accomplished getting a bathroom named after you!!! And really like the plaque! It says it all! Way to go!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/adam_peters4861 adam_peters4861

    But what kind of Toilet Paper do they have in that stall? You don't want something rough for people to remember you by.

    Get the good stuff, 100% pure cotton at purelycotton.com. w00t!

  • Matt Harada

    I got a call from CU asking for money yesterday. She didn't mention that there were crappers up for sale. That would have changed the whole discussion!
    Nice work Brad

  • http://www.sanjoseshower.com San Jose Shower

    Trust me, I have exactly the same obsession with bathrooms. I always said that when I will have a house of my own I will make it huge and I will decorate it after the latest style. I will be the most modern part of my house. That`s what I aim for and that`s what I`m going to do.