Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Death knell for Newcomb College

Once again, Money triumphs over Right.
Late on Friday afternoon, the Louisiana Supreme Court included the following in a long listing of cases for which applications for certiorari were denied:

“2010-C -2535 SUSAN HENDERSON MONTGOMERY v. ADMINISTRATORS OF THE TULANE EDUCATIONAL FUND (Parish of Orleans)

GUIDRY, J., recused.
VICTORY, J., would grant.
KNOLL, J., would grant.”


Four justices voted not to hear the appeal of the Newcomb College case, and the ruling of the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal upholding the action of the trial court stands: Ms. Montgomery’s motion for summary judgment is denied, Tulane’s motion is granted, and the case is dismissed. 


The opinion of the Court of Appeal is seriously flawed: it ignores Mrs. Newcomb’s clear intent and her life’s work and undermines donor rights everywhere.  By refusing to hear the appeal, the Supreme Court has relegated Newcomb College to the realm of memories and denied the future of a perpetual, living memorial to Sophie Newcomb as Mrs. Newcomb so clearly intended.

Ms. Montgomery, plaintiff in the case, is extremely disappointed in the outcome, and continues to believe that it does not reflect her ancestor's clear intent when she made her lifetime and testamentary gifts to establish Newcomb College as a permanent memorial to her daughter.

We are more than disappointed in the result.  Throughout this long and arduous battle, we never doubted that those who fought for the continued existence of Newcomb College were on the right side of history. While the college that she established has been lost, due to the misguided efforts of a few, the legacy of Mrs. Newcomb’s courage as a nineteenth-century woman will never be forgotten by those of us who care about honor and respect.  She was a significant person in the history of New Orleans, and nothing done by the current administration of Tulane University can ever change that.

TFoNC has been honored to support the legal battle to save Newcomb College.  The attorneys at Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn have been zealous in their excellent representation.  They believed in this case as strongly as we did.



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