College Donors Want to Make Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’ Required Reading

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Ayn Rand, author of 'Atlas Shrugged'

A former chairman of a bank holding company loves Ayn Rand and is committed to spreading her philosophy? Color us shocked!

John Allison, chairman of BB&T Corp. turned business professor, is now working through the BB&T Charitable Foundation to offer schools multi-million dollar grants, so long as they create and offer a course on capitalism that features Rand’s Atlas Shrugged as part of the course syllabus.

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While it’s pretty clear why a wealthy American businessman would want to spread the pro-capitalism, libertarian-esque philosophy that Rand hones in her hefty tome, it’s a bit more surprising that colleges are actually agreeing to it.

Bloomberg reports that around “60 schools, including at least four campuses of the University of North Carolina, began teaching Rand’s book after getting the foundation money.”

While this does raise the interesting (and important) question of whether cash-strapped schools should bow to the pressure of donors’ wishes, it also raises an even more important question: When is some literary philanthropist going to donate money and top-notch reading requirements that can counter Rand’s writing? We can practically hear the English majors weeping from here. (via Bloomberg)

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