The University of New Hampshire has been widely criticised for the way it spent the money former employee left in his will.

The university made headlines earlier this week after former librarian Robert Morin left his life savings to the college.

Morin worked as a cataloguer for almost 50 years before dying at the age of 77, in March 2015.

The world was touched by Morin's story when it was revealed that he "never went out" and ate frozen dinners. When he died, he left US$4 million (NZ$5.4m) to the university, which put US$1m (NZ$1.4m) towards a video scoreboard for its new football stadium.

Advertisement

Other than asking US$100,000 go towards the Dimond Library where he worked, Morin didn't specify how the rest of the money should be spent.

The Internet has been flooded with backlash, with New Hampshire graduate Claire Cortese blogging: "Ultimately, the school's administrative decision to spend a quarter of Morin's generous donation on a inconsequential trinket for the athletic department is a complete disgrace to the spirit and memory of Robert Morin.

"As a wildcat, I feel deeply saddened, and honestly completely ashamed of my alma mater for this."

Vice president for advancement at the University of New Hampshire Deborah Dutton said Morin had a late-in-life football appreciation.

"The language we got was really about the president having discretion to use this gift in the way he or she sees fit," she said. "At the same time, we wanted to try to honour the other parts of Bob's life. He was an employee for 50 years."