Sackler family—and their money—still welcome at Oxford University
Though stripped of their naming rights at institutions such as the Louvre, London's National Portrait Gallery and the American Museum of Natural History, the Sackler family is still finding a home for their charitable dollars at Oxford University, the Financial Times reports.
The cold shoulder they've received from institutions stemmed from the family's ownership of Purdue Pharma, manufacturer of OxyContin, and the company's role in the opioid epidemic. The FT obtained access to documents that "reveal how the elite university has extended exclusive invitations to a Sackler family member and accepted funds from Sackler family charities as it maintained the Sacklers’ naming rights on university buildings and fellowships." The family has given at least £10 million ($12 million) to Oxford over the past 30 years.
Among the Oxford institutions where the Sacklers and their funds are still welcome is the university's museum of art and archaeology, the Ashmolean Museum. The chairman of the museum's board of visitors, Lord James Lupton, wrote to one of the Sackler family members in a January 2020 letter obtained by the FT, "As the new face on the board, I am ‘all ears’ to the views of our most important patrons and supporters, and I very much hope that you will contribute your ideas over the next few weeks."
The FT reported that one other institution is still associated with the Sacklers: Kings College London, which in 2021 accepted a £750,000 ($908,000) donation and maintains the family's naming rights there.