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'No strings' on $5 million Moore gift

Mar 29, 2011 8:33:00 PM - thestate.com
The $5 million gift that ousted University of South Carolina trustee Darla Moore made to the university has no strings attached.

“It’s totally unencumbered,” state Sen. John Courson, R-Richland, told legislative colleagues in remarks he made on the Senate floor Tuesday. “There are no strings whatsoever.”

Courson said Moore called him Friday to explain her gift. Courson, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, said he and Moore have discussed education in the past, including during a pair of visits that he made to Moore’s home in Lake City.

In addressing her removal from USC’s board for the first time Friday, Moore surprised an audience at the university by saying she was pledging $5 million so USC could establish an aerospace innovation and research center.

Moore’s announcement underscored her position as the largest benefactor in USC history and was seen as a retort of sorts to Gov. Nikki Haley, who replaced her on USC’s board with a campaign contributor. With Haley’s backing, the state House of Representatives turned down a request by USC for $5 million to start the research center.

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