Traumafessions :: Reader Eric McDade on the Send a Mouse to College Fund

send a mouse to college

Hey there,

Just wondering if you guys encountered the Send A Mouse To College Fund as kids.

The thrust of the fund was to get elementary school kids to beg for money from their parents and their parents’ friends, which would eventually be used to pay for lab mice at, I suppose, local colleges and/or high schools.

Of course, being a kid, none of the grisly truth about what the money’s actually for really makes its way to, past the idea that you get iron-ons and buttons for being a mule.

So you end up walking away with a sense of pride for having raised a bunch of money, as well as a new iron-on of a cutesy, cartoon mouse holding a diploma, wearing a graduation cap and gown neatly pressed onto your old, white Fruit of the Loom T-Shirt.

And of course, none of what you’ve taken part in hits you until you’re in your mid-thirties.

Good times.

Just thought I’d share that with you.


Eric McDade

AUNT JOHN SEZ: As an elementary school student of the late ’70s and early ’80s, I was subjected to brainwashing machinations of the cult known as R.I.F., and its super sexy spokesman ED ASNER:

We were too busy reading books to be bothered with sending cute little animals to death camps. And by the time I got to junior high, we had moved on to peddling Columbia House records and cassette tapes:

Did anyone else out there in Kindertrauma-land “Send a Mouse to College”? If so, please sound off in the comments. And if anyone managed to use the hard sell to convince their Mom to buy The Eurythmics Touch LP, we need to talk.

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13 years ago

Thankfully, I never experienced the “Send a Mouse to College” thing.  However, I do remember the RIF ads. Aunt John, my junior high school peddled magazines and records/cassettes as a fund-raiser every year. My first year selling, my dad decided to buy Johnny Horton’s Greatest Hits. He then proceeded to torture me with it for years. That record wasn’t as bad as his Slim Whitman records though. Each student was required to sell at least one magazine or record in order to watch a movie. It was bribery, I know, but it worked. I will always remember watching The Private Eyes with Don Knotts and Tim Conway my 6th grade year. It was awesome!

Corey Convex
13 years ago

Not to ignore the original post….but, you want some sexy Ed Asner, Auntie? Have you seen The Wrestler? No, not the Mickey Rourke comeback special of 2008..but the James A. Westman’s hairy thrill ride from 1974! Here’s a scene to wet your whistle:

dana pants
dana pants
4 years ago

Yes! I do remember this! I don’t think I really understood what it was for.. except going door to door to ask strangers “would you like to send a mouse to college?” Sounded cute and harmless. Little did I know, I was sending mice to their demise. LOL. The reason I looked this up today was because I’m going to use this memory to sculpt a project for my intermediate ceramics class. I thought I was the only one who remembered this lol.