Alabama expected to return $21.5 million gift
When philanthropist Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr. pledged a record $26.5 million to the University of Alabama in September, the institution showered him with praise, lauding his generosity, describing him as a “special person” and renaming the law school in his honor.
That relationship quickly soured. On Friday, Alabama’s board of trustees is expected to reject Culverhouse’s gift, give back the $21.5 million received so far, and remove his name, too.
Depending on which side you talk to, the flap is either the most high-profile fallout from Alabama’s new abortion ban or a completely unrelated dispute.
The bond began publicly unraveling last week after Culverhouse, a Florida real estate investor and lawyer, called on students to boycott the university to protest the ban. Hours later, Alabama announced it was considering giving back his money, the biggest donation ever made to the university.”I don’t want anybody to go to that law school, especially women, until the state gets its act together,” the 70-year-old Culverhouse said in an interview.