University of Alabama trustees have voted to return a $21.5 million donation from donor Hugh Culverhouse Jr. and remove his name from the university's law school. Culverhouse had originally pledged a total of $26.5 million.
Al.com reports that the trustees votes follows Culverhouse's call last week for a boycott of Alabama—school and state—over the state’s recently passed near-total abortion ban.
The university says it has been in an ongoing dispute with Culverhouse, unrelated to the abortion legislation, over the millions he has donated to the law school. Kellee Reinhart, vice chancellor for communications says Culverhouse asked the school to return $10 million, “repeating numerous demands about the operations of the University of Alabama School of Law."
Culverhouse issued this statement after the trustees vote Friday:
Culverhouse’s father, Hugh Culverhouse Sr., and his mother, Joy, both attended Alabama and were prominent donors to the university. He said his father was an active officer of a Planned Parenthood in Jacksonville, Fla., when he was a child and his mother was strong-willed and never would have stood for Alabama’s strict abortion regulations.
Culverhouse Jr. said he does not want his donation back, but he is afraid students from out of state will be deterred by Alabama’s strict laws on reproductive health.
The abortion ban was signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey and has already been challenged by the ACLU of Alabama and Planned Parenthood Southeast. State Rep. Terri Collins says the purpose of the ban is to challenge the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion.