The Tennessee division of United Daughters of the Confederacy has no idea what it’s going to do with the $1.2 million it’s to receive from Vanderbilt University.
The group is still reeling from the news that the school is planning to strip reference to the Confederacy from a dormitory.
A Tennessee court told Vanderbilt that if it wanted to change the name of Confederate Memorial Hall, the school had to give back a gift used to construct the building.
But that ruling came in 2005 and for more than a decade, nothing much had happened, says the Daughters of the Confederacy’s attorney Douglas Jones.
“After all these many years, Vanderbilt’s decided to pay us,” he says.
The Daughters of the Confederacy originally gave Vanderbilt $33,000. Even considering inflation, the school’s settlement more than covers that debt.
The Tennessee chapter’s total revenue last year was $50,000. The group provides scholarships and helps maintain Civil War monuments and cemeteries, but Jones says it’s not interested in the money.
“They’re in the history preservation business, among other things, and this was about history,” he says. “So, the idea that we’re going to sanitize or whitewash history is very depressing for our clients.”
The group would rather the name stayed on the building. Jones says it will have to accept Vanderbilt’s decision, however. United Daughters of the Confederacy doesn’t have any more legal options.