(WHNT) — As Richard Shelby’s tenure as Alabama’s U.S. Senator comes to a close, the longtime lawmaker is making a special donation to the University of Alabama (UA).

Last week, Shelby announced he would donate official Senate papers, records, and materials to the university when his last term ends in 2023.

“I have been extremely fortunate to serve the people of Alabama for more than forty years and cannot think of a more appropriate place to house my official papers than my Alma Mater,” Shelby said. “I hope that these materials will facilitate academic research for scholars and students of law, history, policy, political science, and other fields, as I believe one of the most important investments we make is in our classrooms.”

The university said in a statement that the receipt of Shelby’s papers could create a new institution to allow students, faculty, and staff members to engage with elected officials and policymakers.

“With these materials, Senator Shelby will once again pave the way for the next generation of public servants,” said UA President Stuart Bell.

Shelby was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986, where he has chaired important committees on intelligence, appropriations, and banking. Prior to serving in the Senate, Shelby served in the U.S. House of Representatives and Alabama Senate.