The Slate 60 Huffington Virtue Remix: Summary

The Slate 60 Huffington Virtue Remix: Summary

The Slate 60 Huffington Virtue Remix: Summary
Analysis of the year's biggest philanthropists.
March 2 2000 12:09 AM


Consider the Slate 60 shaken up. After adjusting this year's rankings to account for gifts both selfless and selfish, we found that about as many donors had moved up (27) as moved down (29). Only five had stayed in the same place. (There were actually 61 people on this year's Slate 60.) Most donors moved fewer than five spots, but a handful dropped more than 20 places, and one moved up 13. Bill and Melinda Gates remain on top—which isn't surprising, considering we'd have to lop off 93 percent of their donations to put them in a tie for second place.

You can find the results of the Virtue Remix, as calculated by Slate's Joseph Lacson, on one of two charts. The condensed version shows each donor's name, new ranking, original ranking, gross donation amount, total percentage points added or deducted, and adjusted donation amount. The full chart  has all that information, but it also lists each category for which we added or took away percentage points, broken down by individual gift. The full chart could take several minutes to load and requires quite a bit of horizontal scrolling. It is not for the faint of heart.

A few other highlights from this year's Slate 60 Virtue Remix:


  • Forty-three donors had more points taken away than added. Four gained points, and 14 had no change.

  • Donors were most often penalized for gifts of buildings named after themselves. Carl Icahn dropped 20 notches for a bricks-and-mortar donation to Princeton University; Steven Ferencz Udvar-Hazy dropped a hefty 27 spots for his largess to the Smithsonian.

  • The biggest change, and biggest drop, belongs to William A. and Joan Porter. Their $25 million gift to MIT places them in a tie for 27th on the original Slate 60, but they plummet 30 spots to a tie for 57th on the Remix for donating a) to build a building at b) an already well-endowed institution that is c) related to William Porter's business, then d) naming it after him.

  • Craig and Susan McCaw got the biggest bump: They moved up 13 places--from a tie for 47th to 34--for $15 million in grants to the Foundation for Community Development and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, picking up points for helping to overcome poverty and for encouraging self-sufficiency.

Despite the best efforts of Joseph Lacson and the rest of Slate's crack research team, we may not have given credit—or blame—everywhere it's due. (Read some more fine print.) If you see something we've overlooked, please post a note in " The Fray." Our Virtue Police will be checking it regularly. 

Josh Daniel is Slate's managing editor.