Scheduled to graduate in August,
Arrington said she would like to return
to school in three or four years and start
work toward an MBA after earning some
full-time work experience.
The experience that Hugh Culverhouse
cited as especially valuable was his role
as a federal prosecutor, specifically, as
an assistant U.S. attorney, working in the
fraud division in Miami, Florida.
“I tried 30 trials my first year,” the
Coral Gables, Florida, resident recalled.
“I was incompetent the first five. After
about that fifth trial — I had lost three or
four out of five — I called my mother up
and said, ‘Mom, I’m not meant for this. I
Culverhouse said his mother quickly
and clearly voiced her disdain with her
“‘You keep trying,’” he recalled her
ordering. “‘At some point, it is going to
come to you.’”
The conversation quickly ended
after the son’s ears were blistered
with the threat of a two-iron (Joy
McCann Culverhouse attended UA on
a golf scholarship, graduating from
the Capstone in 1942) if she heard
him mention quitting again, Hugh
“After about 10 trials, it clicked,”
Culverhouse said. “I had the best times
of my life.”
Culverhouse, who would later practice
law privately for 20 years and who had
previously worked for the Securities and
Exchange Commission as a trial attorney
for its division of enforcement, said it was
his stint as the assistant U.S. attorney in
Miami that made him fearless.
“I am not afraid of anybody,” he said.
“And, I’m not afraid to lose. I’ve lost. The
next day, I woke up and ate my yogurt,
raisins and honey. Losing is not the end
of the world. Not trying is.”
At some point after the two-iron
threat, he was offered a chance to join
a law firm and earn a $23,000 annual
salary versus the $15,000 he was making
as a federal prosecutor. He would not get
to try his own cases, though, and, even
if he made senior partner, would have to
live to be, as he puts it, “304 years old”
before he would try as many cases as he
already had. He opted to stay put.
Hugh’s father, Hugh Culverhouse Sr.,
eventually became a wealthy man. Also an
attorney, the elder Culverhouse became
a real estate developer and business
executive, owning an NFL franchise, the
Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But, those were
not the family’s circumstances when it
came time for the younger Culverhouse
to apply to colleges.
“He borrowed the money to send me
to school,” Culverhouse recalled of his
dad. “He made his wealth later in life. At
this point, he was in private practice.”
He and his dad made a deal.
Actually, they made a couple of them.
Hugh Culverhouse Jr. would attend the
University of Florida (he said out-of-state
tuition was not an option for his family or
he might have followed his parents’ path
to UA). He would go straight through.
“‘Forget this nonsense of working
in the summer and going out at night,’”
Hugh Culverhouse Jr. chats with scholarship recipient.