It was the largest one-time amount—$35 million—anyone had ever donated to benefit a university. The Robertsons were specific about the way the money was to be used. It was intended to help Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs focus on sending its graduates into those areas of the federal government concerned with international relations. “But the university,” the son says, “was ignoring my parents’ intentions.” Furthermore, Princeton’s administrators were “harming the country.” That’s not, as you might imagine, the way Princeton saw it—or sees it today.
How much control over a gift does a donor have after the gift is given?
How accountable is a non-profit recipient for the use of the gift?
“Robertson v. Princeton may be the most important case higher education has faced over the question of honoring the wishes of the donor.”—Wall Street Journal