Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Princeton settles Robinson lawsuit: University pays $40 mil in legal fees, $50 mil for new family-run foundation, and retains control of balance
Princeton announced today that it has settled the Robertson lawsuit, which was filed in July 2002 by members of the Robertson family. The Robertson Foundation commenced with a gift of $35 million in 1961 from Marie Robertson (wife of Charles Robertson, Princeton class of 1926). In June 2007 it was valued at over $900 million.
Here are key terms:
(1) the Robertson Foundation's trustees will act to dissolve the foundation under the terms of its certificate of incorporation, transferring its assets of the foundation to the University as a restricted fund with the same purposes that are specified in the certificate.
(2) In the next three years, Princeton will pay $40 million to the Bradbury Fund, the charitable foundation that the Robertsons used to pay their legal bills.
(3) Princeton will pay $50 million to "a new charitable foundation designated by the Robertson family that will support the preparation of students for government service." This will be paid out over the course of seven years (years four through ten of the agreement). Princeton's announcement does not specify whether that new foundation can support students in other institutions, or whether it is restricted to Wilson School students.
The parties are filing papers today with the New Jersey Superior Court asking for the settlement to be approved.