University of Alabama removes donor's name over abortion remarks

University of Alabama removes donor's name over abortion remarks
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The University of Alabama will return millions of dollars from a donor and removed his name from its law school after he told students to boycott the university over Alabama's ban on nearly all abortions. 

Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr., 70, told The Associated Press that the university's board of trustees did so in response to his statements and said that it made the state appear as “the land of the backward” and full of “hicks.” 


“What have you done Alabama? You have effectively put a 12-gauge in your mouth and pulled the trigger,” he said. 

Kellee Reinhart, the university's vice chancellor for communication, in a statement Friday denied that his statement was the reason for its returning of the donation. 

"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," she said. "Any attempt by Mr. Culverhouse to tie this action to any other issue is misleading and untrue."

University Chancellor Finis E. St. John IV said in a Friday statement that Culverhouse's "expectations for the use and application of that gift have been inconsistent with the essential values of academic integrity and independent administration of the Law School and the University."

He said he wanted the gift returned “for these reasons and for these reasons alone.” 

The resolution passed by the board to return Culverhouse's donation and remove his name from the law school said that "it has become apparent that in recent months that the parties do not share the same vision and expectation for the use of the funds."

Culverhouse last week called on students to boycott the university after the state's governor signed a law last month banning nearly all abortions. 

“I don’t want anybody to go to that law school, especially women, until the state gets its act together,” he told the AP. 

The university announced soon after that it would vote Friday on whether to return Culverhouse's gift. He had pledged to donate $26.5 million to the university last year, $21.5 million of which he had already given.  

Alabama's law came amid a series of bills passed in other states that outlaw abortion about six weeks into pregnancy.