Someone Put $180k in a Box and Sent it to a Professor

A college physics professor opened a battered cardboard box that had been sitting in the mailroom for months. Inside the box he found a letter and $180,000 in cash.

Dr. Vinod Menon is a physics professor and chairman of the physics department at The City College of New York. When he returned to teaching in-person this semester, he found a heavy cardboard box the size of a toaster. It was addressed to "Chairman, Physics Department".

The package was postmarked 10 November 2020, so it had been sitting unopened for months, first in the campus mailroom and then in the physics office. A letter in the package explained that the donor graduated "long ago" from CCNY which helped lead to "a long, productive, immensely rewarding" career.

The letter asked that the money be used to help students also majoring in physics and math who need financial support to continue their studies.

"It's crazy that it just sat in the mailroom, or even that it was sent by mail - the person trusted the system so much," Dr. Menon told The New York Times.

Menon said his department will honor the anonymous donor's wish by giving out two full-tuition scholarships each year for the next decade.

Photo Credit: City College of New York


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