BOISE -- There is a unique scholarship program at the University of Idaho called the found money fund.
It is just how it sounds -- a fund of money that people have found.
It all started back in the 1970s with a penny pinching professor.
I found three pennies on the way to school the third day of January 1981, said Terry Armstrong, a professor at the University of Idaho. I put my three pennies in there and said, 'how much money can I find this year?' I was in the president's office then, and the press secretary found a nickel. She said, I ll put my nickel in with your pennies. We'll have a party at the end of the year.
By the end of that year, Armstrong and his coworker had saved $11. They decided it wouldn't be a very big party with just $11, so they donated it to the university.
What started out as a joke, turned into a real fundraiser, with money being donated from all over the world, mostly from alumni.
On a serious note, I have taught here for 44 years, said Armstrong. You never have money to do the kinds of things you need to do.
By the end of October, the money fund had $284,238.06 in it.
When the market is just right, we make enough money to double this amount every six years, said Armstrong. One doubling would be half million, another doubling would be a million-two. It's getting up there pretty good, even with crappy recession times.
Armstrong said they will never spend the actual money, but will only spend the interest the money earns.
It's hard to keep up with Terry Armstrong, but for his final prediction, he expects to have $300,000 by this time next year, and in ten years, his goal is $1,000,000.