Wealthy real estate developer T.W. Lewis has retracted his annual $400,000 donation to Arizona State University, citing “left-wing hostility and activism” on campus, Fox News reported.
The benefactor, who has a center in the honors college named after him, made the decision after a faculty member claimed she was fired for inviting several conservative commentators to speak on campus.
“After seeing this level of left-wing hostility and activism, I no longer had any confidence in Barrett to adhere to the terms of our gift and made the decision to terminate our agreement,” Lewis said.
“I regret that this decision was necessary, and hope that Barrett and ASU will take strong action to ensure that free speech will always be protected and that all voices can be heard,” he added.
Ann Atkinson, executive director of the T.W. Lewis Center at Barrett, The Honors College, was fired by the school shortly after she allowed Dennis Prager, Charlie Kirk, and Robert Kiyosaki to speak to students.
The university has not officially tied Atkinson’s termination to the appearance of the prominent conservatives in February. Instead, ASU maintains that her exit resulted from Lewis deciding to no longer fund the center.
“Ms. Atkinson’s current job at the university will no longer exist after June 30 because the donor who created and funded the center decided to terminate his donation. Unfortunate, but hardly unprecedented,” the school claimed.
The fallout from the “Health, Wealth and Happiness” event in question first came directly after the event, when ASU faculty members wrote letters to a dean calling the speakers “white nationalist provocateurs.”
“Dennis Prager and Charlie Kirk are purveyors of hate who have publicly attacked women, people of color, the LGBTQ community, as well as the institutions of our democracy, including our public institutions of higher education,” the faculty wrote.