At least 20 institutions have now dropped the Sackler name

The News

The University of Oxford plans to remove the Sackler name from its buildings, following criticism over the family's ties to the U.S. opioid crisis.

Oxford conducted a review of its relationship with the family and is renaming six galleries, libraries, and positions that had been named for the Sacklers because of donations they made.

The family founded the pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma, which manufactured the drug OxyContin and faced lawsuits over its role in the widespread overprescription of addictive opioids.

Oxford joins at least 19 other universities, museums, theaters, and institutes that have distanced themselves from the Sacklers and dropped the name from buildings and galleries, according to a Semafor tally.

Know More

Institutions in the U.S. that have dropped the Sackler name include:

  • Tufts University

  • Yale University

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art

  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

  • Dia Art Foundation

In the U.K.:

  • National Gallery in London

  • The British Museum

  • Victoria and Albert Museum

  • Tate Britain

  • Tate Modern

  • Dulwich Picture Gallery

  • The Design Museum

  • The Garden Museum

  • Royal College of Art

  • London’s Serpentine Galleries

  • Shakespeare's Globe

  • Sussex University

In France:

  • Louvre Museum

Other institutions have stopped accepting donations or turned down grants from the Sackler family, including:

  • Columbia University

  • National Portrait Gallery in London

  • American Museum of Natural History

Step Back

The Sacklers have given millions in grants to educational and artistic institutions, but those ties came under scrutiny in recent years over the family’s role in the opioid crisis, which has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans.

Purdue Pharma, facing thousands of lawsuits, filed for bankruptcy in 2019 and agreed to pay out up to to $6 billion to resolve the suits. The company was dissolved in 2021.

Despite advocacy from groups like P.A.I.N, some places have resisted calls to distance themselves from the Sacklers. Harvard University, for example, has said it is reviewing proposals to remove the Sackler name from two of its buildings, but has not done so.