UA law school named for Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr. after $26.5M donation
As of Thursday, The University of Alabama School of Law will now be named the Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr. School of Law in recognition of a $26.5 million donation from the prominent business executive and attorney.
Culverhouse’s unprecedented commitment includes a $25 million gift – the largest in the University’s storied 187-year history. The gift will be funded over four years, with more than $11.5 million of the total donation already having been received. The donation also includes a $1.5 million gift Culverhouse made in 2017 to establish the Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr. Endowed Chair in Constitutional Law.
In a press release, the university noted that to “honor Culverhouse’s impact and generosity, the UA School of Law will now bear his name, becoming the Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr. School of Law at The University of Alabama.”
“This transformative gift by Hugh Culverhouse leaves an indelible mark on UA’s School of Law and will greatly impact our law students for generations to come,” University of Alabama President Stuart R. Bell said. “We are particularly grateful for Hugh’s decision to fund this gift with an accelerated timetable. That certainly enhances the impact of the gift. We deeply appreciate Hugh’s ongoing commitment to The University of Alabama.”
Culverhouse, in a statement, praised the world-class law school and emphasized his passion for continuing its impact on generations of law students to come.
“The University of Alabama law school is one of the finest in the country,” Culverhouse said. “It is my hope this gift helps bright and talented young people pursuing a career in the law reach their full potential. Eliza and I are passionate about students and can think of no better investment than helping the students at the UA School of Law.”
Culverhouse continued, “Additionally, we hope our giving inspires others to support the University. There is no better investment than in the future of our young people.”
His gift will establish the Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr. School of Law Endowment for Excellence and “will enable the law school to develop innovative programming, expand its physical presence, increase scholarship support for students, provide additional educational and career opportunities for students and support a 21st century law library,” according to Dr. Mark E. Brandon, dean of the law school.
“I am ever grateful for Mr. Culverhouse’s friendship with the School of Law and grateful that he has seen fit to invest in our future,” Brandon added.
One of America’s leading public law schools and consistently ranked as one of the best values in legal education, the now-Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr. School of Law at The University of Alabama offers a challenging curriculum with over 150 electives, several dual enrollment opportunities, Master of Laws degrees, and a J.S.D, according to the university. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 6.3:1, the law school “offers students a rigorous, hands-on learning experience, with strong student engagement in clinical programs, legal journals, moot court teams and trial advocacy.”
Known for his generous philanthropic efforts, including his longtime support of UA and his creative approach of issuing challenge gifts, Culverhouse has, along with his wife, Eliza, now cumulatively committed more than $35 million to UA over the past decade.
Starting in 2015, Culverhouse donated $250,000 to endow a women’s golf scholarship in honor of his mother, Joy McCann Culverhouse, who starred as a UA golfer in the early 1940s. In total, he and his wife have contributed approximately $2.25 million to endow women’s golf scholarships at the Capstone.
The Culverhouses, back in 2012, donated $1 million to UA to establish the Hugh F. and Eliza Culverhouse Scholarship to support high-achieving students with financial need. Since then, they have contributed an additional $5.3 million to the renowned UA Culverhouse College of Business, which is named after Culverhouse’s father, Hugh Culverhouse Sr.
Culverhouse also contributed $147,000 to Athletics in 2000 to fund an endowment named in honor of former football player Derrick Thomas for student scholarships.
A resident of Coral Gables, Florida, Culverhouse is the CEO and owner of Palmer Ranch Holdings – a planned community encompassing some 10,000 acres in Sarasota County. He is also the principal in Culverhouse Limited Partnerships with investents in real estate, securities and hedge funds.
Culverhouse earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida in 1971, an MBA in corporate finance from New York University in 1972 and a law degree from the University of Florida law school in 1974 – the same year he became a CPA in Florida. He began his legal career in 1975, serving as a trial attorney for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement and then as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the United States Department of Justice. He then served in private law practice in Florida from 1979 to 1999. Culverhouse has been admitted to practice in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, the 5th and 11th Circuit Courts and is a member of the Florida Bar.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn