A major donor to the University of South Carolina sent a blistering letter to the university saying she regrets supporting it after it did not acknowledge her mother’s death last week.
Darla Moore is a financier who is an alumna of the University of South Carolina and a former trustee there. She has given the university more than $75 million.
She criticized the university in a letter sent April 5, four days after her mother died at the age of 89. Clemson University sent Moore’s family “deep expressions of appreciation and recognition,” Moore wrote, according to The Post and Courier, which obtained her letter. The donor contrasted Clemson’s communication with a lack of outreach from the University of South Carolina.
“There is not a university in the country that would exhibit this degree of thoughtless, dismissive and graceless ignorance of the death of a parent of their largest donor,” Moore wrote. “I continue to be embarrassed and humiliated by my association with you and all you so disgracefully and incompetently display to the community you are charged to serve and to whom you look for support.”
She closed her letter to the University of South Carolina by saying that her deepest regret was dedicating efforts and resources on the university’s behalf.
The University of South Carolina issued a statement of sympathy for Moore April 6.
Moore’s name is on the University of South Carolina’s business school. She donated $10 million to Clemson’s Eugene T. Moore School of Education, which is named after her father.
This isn’t the first fracture in the relationship between Moore and the university. She was upset with a controversial presidential search that ended with the hiring of retired West Point superintendent Bob Caslen in 2019, objecting to what she called “rank political influence” in the selection.