Ray Charles Foundation wants back $3 million gift given to Albany State University
February 15, 2012
The Ray Charles Foundation is demanding the return of a $3 million gift given to Albany State University a decade ago because the organization says the college has yet to use the money to build a performing arts center in the late artist’s name.
In 2001, Charles gave the south Georgia school $1 million and donated another $2 million a year later after receiving an honorary doctorate from the college. The native of Albany, Ga., died in 2004 at age 73.
The money was given solely for the construction of the performing arts center, yet it only exists “on the drawing board and in an unapproved downsized plan,” the foundation said in a statement.
Charles was specific on how the money was to be spent, said foundation president Valerie Ervin.
“It is incomprehensible that Albany State University failed to use the money in the manner Mr. Charles wanted. Mr. Charles would find ASU’s behavior unacceptable,” she said.