University of Alabama Returns Millions, Removes School Name of Donor Who Urged Boycott Over Abortion Law

University of Alabama Returns Millions, Removes School Name of Donor Who Urged Boycott Over Abortion Law June 7, 2019

Behold, history being made today at the university, as students removed the name of Hugh Culverhouse, Jr. from the school of law:

The story:

The University of Alabama returned $21.5 million Friday to a donor who urged students to boycott over the state’s recently passed abortion ban.

Hugh Culverhouse Jr. called it retaliation for his position against the controversial law. University officials said it was not related.

Culverhouse, a Florida lawyer and developer, originally pledged a total of $26.5 million last year. The university named its law school for him then, which was the largest gift in the university’s 187-year history.

The university removed his name from the law school’s sign on Friday after the board of trustees voted to return the $21.5 million he had given so far.

“The action taken by the Board today was a direct result of Mr. Culverhouse’s ongoing attempts to interfere in the operations of the Law School,” according to a statement from Kellee Reinhart, the university’s vice chancellor for communication.

“That was the only reason the Board voted to remove his name and return his money. Any attempt by Mr. Culverhouse to tie this action to any other issue is misleading and untrue,” she said.

The university last week said Culverhouse asked for $10 million back and had made demands about the law school.

“Donors may not dictate University administration,” the school said in a statement.
Culverhouse denied asking for a refund.

“I want to make clear that I never demanded that $21.5 million be refunded and wonder if the University is attempting to silence my opinions by their quick response,” he said in a statement Friday.

Read more.

Culverhouse had been a vocal critic of the new anti-abortion law going into effect in Alabama:

Culverhouse issued a statement Friday in which he renewed his call for students “to protest and reconsider their educational options in Alabama.”

“I expected this response from UA,” he said. “I will not allow my family’s name to be associated with an educational system that advocates a state law which discriminates against women, disregards established Federal law and violates our Constitution.

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