Robert Morin (librarian)

Robert Morin (January 3, 1938 - March 31, 2015) was a librarian at the University of New Hampshire's Dimond Library from 1965 to 2014 where he catalogued DVDs, CDs, and music scores. He donated $4 million to the university in his will,[1][2] and a scandal later emerged after the university spent a quarter of it on a new football scoreboard.[3][4][5]

Morin was born in Nashua, New Hampshire to Louis and Gabrielle Morin.[2] He graduated from the University of New Hampshire (UNH) in Durham in 1961, and earned a master's degree in library science from Simmons College. He then began his career as a librarian at the Dimond Library.

He lived a frugal life, driving an old car, a 1992 Plymouth, and did not go out for entertainment. He regularly ate Fritos with a Coke for breakfast and TV dinners in the evening. He enjoyed reading and read every book published in the United States between 1930 and 1938, excluding children's books, textbooks, cookbooks and books on technology. He also viewed over 22,000 videos from 1979 to 1997, averaging three videos per day.[1][6]

A UNH spokesperson said that he smoked a pipe and loved sitting in front of the library talking with students. "He was very committed to the student workers who worked in our main library."[6]

After Morin retired in 2014 he lived in an assisted-living home for 15 months.[7]

His entire estate of $4 million was left to UNH. Most of it was in unrestricted funds, that is, not mandating the University use it to any specific end; Morin dedicated an $100,000 portion for the library and library science scholarships.[8] UNH earmarked $2.5 million to expand its career center, while $1 million was budgeted for a video scoreboard at the campus stadium. Use of the bequest for a video scoreboard drew broad criticism, with one alumna stating "the school’s administrative decision to spend a quarter of Morin’s generous donation on a inconsequential trinket for the athletic department is a complete disgrace to the spirit and memory of Robert Morin."[9][10] Others drew attention to the absurdity of spending $1 million on a scoreboard when "adjuncts in the English department there... receive $3,000 per class."[11] Administrators defended the decision by saying that the gift was used "for [UNH's] highest priorities and emerging opportunities,"[5] and it was pointed out that this was saying to such adjuncts that they "weren’t a high priority."[11]

Advertising revenue from the scoreboard, the administration argued, proved a good return on the investment.[12]