‘Conservative’ string attached to $50 million college gift

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — Newly released documents show that a $50 million gift to Virginia’s largest public university was given specifically to “promote the conservative principles of governance,” raising concerns from critics that that it compromises academic freedom.

George Mason University announced the gift earlier this year — the largest ever received in the school’s history — from the estate of Allison and Dorothy Rouse to Mason’s Antonin Scalia Law School.

Documents obtained by the group UnKoch My Campus under the Freedom of Information Act show that the Rouse trust specified its bequest be used to promote conservative governance as well as “statesmanship, high morals, civil and religious freedom and the study of the United States Constitution.”

The school has faced criticism over the years that large contributions from conservative donors have influenced academics.

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