When Michael McCracken and his wife wanted to donate $12,500 to Purdue University’s School of Mechanical Engineering, he asked for a plaque honoring his parents to be installed outside one of the conference rooms:
To those who seek to better the world through the understanding of God’s physical laws and innovation of practical solutions. In honor of Dr. William ‘Ed’ and Glenda McCracken.
Purdue, as a public institution, didn’t want to appear to be endorsing religion (or open the door to other donors making similar demands, I figure), so they said they couldn’t accept the dedication as written.
So McCracken did what any generous donor would do: He threatened to sue, making sure the school’s legal costs would undo any money he ever gave them.