After Donor’s Name Removed From Building By Woke University, Descendent Demands $3.6 Billion
The University of Richmond announced back in September that they would be removing the name of T.C. Williams from their law school.
In an email, to the university community, they said that recently located government records showed that T.C. Williams owned slaves.
We are writing to communicate an action taken by the Board of Trustees at its meeting today and arising from the Board’s adoption of Naming Principles in March 2022. The Board voted unanimously to change the official name of the law school from the T.C. Williams School of Law to the University of Richmond School of Law. The law school has been referred to as the University of Richmond School of Law for more than 20 years. This decision to formally adopt that name was made in accordance with Principle 6 of the Naming Principles, which states:
No building, program, professorship, or other entity at the University should be named for a person who directly engaged in the trafficking and/or enslavement of others or openly advocated for the enslavement of people.
As many of you are aware, the Board adopted the Naming Principles as formulated by the Naming Principles Commission last academic year. That commission, with student, staff, faculty, alumni, and trustee representation, as well as external expertise, recommended the principles to the Board after an extensive and inclusive process in which more than 7,500 members of the University community provided their perspectives. The purpose of the principles is to provide a clear and consistent framework to guide decisions about naming and removal or modification of names for named entities at Richmond.
To provide some context, Thomas C. Williams, Sr. (1831–1889), known as T.C. Williams, operated tobacco businesses in Richmond and elsewhere in Virginia, including Patterson & Williams and Thomas C. Williams & Co. He attended Richmond College (1846–49), was a Richmond College trustee from 1881 until his death in 1889, and was a benefactor of the institution. In 1890, Williams’s family made a memorial gift of $25,000, creating an endowment that established a strong foundation for the law program’s development. Several of his children — one of whom succeeded Williams on the Board of Trustees until 1929 — also provided generous support to the University and the law school. In 1920, when Richmond College was re-chartered as the University of Richmond, the law school began consistently to use the name T.C. Williams School of Law…
A descendant of Williams is now fighting back against the University.
He is demanding his family be given $3.6 billion from the university.
A Virginia lawyer demanded the University of Richmond pay his family $3.6billion after the southern school removed the name of his ancestor from its law school because he was a slave owner.
Robert C. Smith, whose great-great grandfather TC Williams Sr. was an early and prominent benefactor of the recently renamed Richmond School of Law, wrote a letter to university president Kevin Hallock demanding the school pay back William’s 1890 donation – adjusted for inflation, plus interest.
Smith accused the school of giving in to ‘woke activists’ when it removed Williams’ name from the law school following a 2021 campus furor over campus buildings bearing the names of slave owning and openly racists benefactors.
The university said records from the 19th century showed Williams owned up to 40 slaves on his tobacco farms, but Smith claimed his family was never shown that evidence.
In a letter to the school, he said, “since you and your activists” want to discredit the name of Williams and claim the money is tainted all the money should be returned.
Jesse Williams, father of T.C. Williams, donated building materials to the First Baptist Church, he said. The family patriarch also donated masonry and other materials for the neighboring First African Baptist Church, Smith wrote in his January letter.
It’s only right, Smith said, for the university to turn over its $3.3 billion endowment to Williams descendants. The remaining $300 million owed should be secured with a note using the campus buildings as collateral, he wrote.
“All your woke faculty” should pledge their assets to secure the loan, he added.
“Since you and your activists went out of your way to discredit the Williams name, and since presumably the Williams family’s money is tainted, demonstrate your ‘virtue’ and give it all back,” he wrote.
Will they be forced to give it all back?
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