UA approves return of Culverhouse gift

Jun 7, 2019

(TUSCALOOSA, AL)-- The University of Alabama has approved the return of the largest donation ever given to the school.

The Board of Trustees agreed to return a $21.5 million gift to Hugh Culverhouse Jr. at a meeting on Friday. The decision was also made to rename the law school and take Culverhouse's name off of it. 

The decision comes after a public feud between the University and Culverhouse. The lawyer called for out-of-state students, particularly women, to boycott the school after the state passed the country's strictest anti-abortion law. He also encouraged individuals and businesses to boycott the state.

Culverhouse says he has no doubt the University's decision is related to those comments. However, university officials say that the decision was made because of micromanagement by Culverhouse. They say he was too demanding about how the donation was to be used, and donors may not dictate administration.

"We will learn from this experience and will not compromise our academic integrity and independent administration at any price," Chencellor Finis St. John said.

Culverhouse originally asked for $10 million of his donation back, but the school voted to return the entire gift. 

"While many of the board's decisions are difficult and complex, this decision was not difficult or complex," UA Board of Trustees chairman Ron Gray said.

Disclosure: ​Alabama Public Radio is a service of The University of Alabama