Hugh Culverhouse Jr. — the University of Alabama’s largest donor — has called for boycotts against the state and against the University of Alabama over its new abortion law that protects unborn babies.
The University of Alabama responded on Friday by returning a $21.5 million gift that it received from Culverhouse, who had allegedly tried to interfere in the operations of the law school. The school also removed his name from the law school.
“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,” said 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.”
“The school says the transaction to return the funds was processed Friday morning and that it will also return any accrued interest,” NPR reported. “Last fall, Culverhouse pledged to donate a total of $26.5 million over four years.”
Stuart Bell, the president of the university, said: “This decision was made for reasons of academic and institutional integrity. I appreciate the actions of the Chancellor and our Board of Trustees and their unwavering support of these intrinsic values.”
Culverhouse responded in a statement, saying:
I expected this response from UA. 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. 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. I will not be silenced.
NPR further noted that last month, Culverhouse’s lawyer was quoted as saying: “Sixty-six percent of the students at Alabama pay out-of-state tuition. A boycott by them could certainly be effective.”