Paul L. Caron

Saturday, September 7, 2019

University of Alabama, Hugh Culverhouse End Spat After Return Of $21.5 Million Gift And Removal Of Donor's Name From Law School

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Joint Statement by Eliza and Hugh Culverhouse, Jr. and the Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama:

Alabama Logo (2019) (Crossed Out)The University of Alabama and Hugh Culverhouse, Jr. agree that they had different views regarding the future of The University of Alabama School of Law. On that basis, the parties agreed to the University’s return of the Culverhouse donations for the benefit of the law school as well as reverting to the law school’s original name. All other statements made by either party regarding the decision to return Hugh Culverhouse, Jr.’s donations, or the removal of Hugh Culverhouse, Jr.’s name from The University of Alabama School of Law are withdrawn. This statement is the sole controlling statement by both parties regarding those matters, and neither party will issue any further statement as to the same.

The Walton Sun, University of Alabama, Hugh Culverhouse Jr. End Spat:

Months after the public fallout between the University of Alabama and its largest donor of the past decade saw the return of more than $21 million in gifts, the system released a joint statement with Hugh Culverhouse Jr. framing the spat as the result of divergent views about the future of the law school.

In June, the system’s board of trustees voted to return the $21.5 million given by Culverhouse toward a $26.5 million pledge to the university law school and remove his name from the law school, which was renamed after the Florida attorney and businessman in 2018. Culverhouse Jr. and his wife, Eliza, donated nearly $40 million to the university during the last decade.

At the time, the system said the move was prompted by Culverhouse’s attempts to interfere in the administration of the law school. It released a cache of email correspondence to support its claims. Culverhouse claimed that the gift’s return was because his calls for a boycott of the state and its institutions over a recently passed state law that bans nearly all abortions. Culverhouse used interviews with media, columns and ads to calls for a boycott of the state and UA., Hugh Culverhouse Jr. and University of Alabama Make Nice

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink


I still wonder how this will play out on Mr. Culverhouse's tax return. Assuming the statute has run on the original charitable contribution deduction, will he have to report the return of the contribution as income? As a negative charitable contribution? Curious minds want to know.

Posted by: Dale Spradling | Sep 9, 2019 6:34:52 AM

I hope the school got to keep a part of the gift to compensate for the time, money, effort, discomfort, and embarrassment that the "benefactor" bestowed upon it.

Posted by: Jim | Sep 9, 2019 6:27:31 AM

Congrats to Culverhouse on getting almost a year of free naming rights.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 8, 2019 5:42:00 PM

There's a great book in there somewhere

Posted by: Mike Livingston | Sep 8, 2019 2:58:46 AM