0

Ray Charles Foundation wants donations back from Albany State

ALBANY, Ga. — Ten years ago, the Ray Charles Foundation donated $3 million to Albany State University which the foundation said was meant to help build the Ray Charles Fine Arts Center.

Now most of the money is gone, nothing has been built and the foundation is asking for its money back.

"It is unacceptable that the $3 million donated (to ASU) by Charles between 2001 and 2002 has yet to be satisfactorily accounted for," Foundation spokesperson David Brokaw. "The funds were solely granted to build a performing arts center — The Ray Charles Fine Arts Building."

The Foundation has been seeking the return of the entire $3 million — $1 million given in 2001 and $2 million a year later.

In October of last year ASU sent a response to the Foundation addressing the "misconception" of the Ray Charles gift "as being restricted."

According to ASU spokesperson Demetrius Love, the 2001 donation is still in the bank and the 2002 gift was given to 125 students chosen to be Ray Charles Presidential Scholars.

The school says the donation was the largest gift the university has ever received.

"The University does believe that a Fine Arts Building named after Mr. Charles, with a theater named in honor of Mr. Charles' mother, Mrs. Aretha Robinson, is one of the ways to do 'the right thing,' ASU said in a release issued Wednesday afternoon. "The University has been working tirelessly towards that goal. We have received additional funds from the state to support the design phase of the building, and we will continue in our efforts of honoring Mr. Ray Charles by constructing a Fine Arts Building in his name."

Comments

agirl_25 2 years, 8 months ago

This sounds like a "Garth Brooks versus the Integris Canadian Valley Regional Hospital" over the half million dollar gift he gave them to build a wing in honor of his mother. He sued and won a million dollar award because of what the court called a "breach of contract, revocation of gift/constructive trust, fraud in the inducement, and negligent misrepresentation/constructive fraud". The ASU says most of the money is in the bank.....so did the foundation that had Brooks' money. Why didn't ASU return the money if you have been sitting on it all these years? Even in this economy the million you have left must make some pretty good interest. Right? Was there a written agreement? When a donor makes a substantial contribution, it’s a great idea to put together an agreement that details what is to be given by the donor and when. Simply put, understand a donor’s intentions and honor those intentions. How hard can that be?

1

Guest8675309 2 years, 8 months ago

There are reasons why the Ray Charles Foundation wants to back out. First, there are not that many theatre majors at ASU, you could probably count them on one hand Secondly how does administration reward the College of Education for leaving student files unlocked, unattended and available to anyone who would like to see them...by allowing them to go to Africa, all expenses paid.
Last but not least, ASU admits hundreds of students who did not meet academic admissions requirements, and the President Freeman boasts on how there was only a 3% difference between the number of students who flunked out between students who were admitted properly and students who were not admitted properly. The reason why the failure rate is not high is because the instructors have had to lower the bar to meet the students where they were or face poor evaluations by students and administration for high failure rates. These reasons are probably just the tip of the iceberg of why the Ray Charles Foundation does not want to have their name attached to Albany State University.

1

waltspecht 2 years, 8 months ago

Basically they want the money returned because all that has been accomplished with the Ray Charles Building is funneling two thirds of the money into schlorships, and directly back into ASU's pockets. The other third I would hope is drawing interest. The furthest the building has gotten is ten years of empty promises that the State will fund the majority of the twenty-seven million it will take to build it. Does anyone believe that in these economic times? I doubt the Foundation does either. They have every right to demand the money back, and should prevail in court. I also have a good idea that the taxpayers will be the ones paying it back.

0

dingleberry 2 years, 8 months ago

Admittedly skeptical, I would like to compare a list of names of those given the "scholarships" with records of those who got government grants and see if there was a double dip somewhere in the pile. When it comes the ASU, all things are possible.

1

Sister_Ruby 2 years, 8 months ago

Y'all will have to give them some time to liquidate the Mercedes and BMWs.

1

dingleberry 2 years, 8 months ago

No way Ruby. There will be a quest undertaken in the name of one of the oldest HBCUs to extort funds from another source, like the tax payer.

0

VSU 2 years, 8 months ago

Took the words right out of my mouth!

0

agirl_25 2 years, 8 months ago

On my morning surf thru the net doing my read of the news sites I see this Ray Charles thing is all over the place...looks like people from Kansas to North Carolina to California, and places in between, will see just how greedy and inept the folks at ASU are.

0

Sister_Ruby 2 years, 8 months ago

Another case of X-hundred-thousand dollars vanishing here in Southwest Georgia.

Don't worry folks, there's plenty more where that came from (China). Follow the money.

0

justme 2 years, 8 months ago

Who, and how were the 125 students "CHOSEN", and how can they account for $16,000 each to be Presidential scholars. Where are these students today and how have they used the $16,000 to be so presidential???????

0

bubbavet 2 years, 8 months ago

ASU HAS AND PROBABLY ALWAYS WILL BE A PAPER MILL. IT WAS COMMON KNOWLEDGE BEFORE THE HOPE SCHOLARSHIP NOT TO WORRY ABOUT PASSING, BECAUSE YOU WOULD GET AT LEAST A "C". A LOT OF THE SO CALLED PROFESSORS NEVER GAVE BACK TESTS OR EVEN WENT OVER THEM AND THE STUDENTS KNEW IT. NOW IT'S A "B" BECAUSE OF THE HOPE SCHOLARSHIP. WE WON'T EVEN GO INTO THE RACISM SHOWN TOWARD THE WHITES THERE BY THE BLACK "PROFESSORS" CLASS OF 77

0

Cartman 2 years, 8 months ago

Unaccounted money at ASU? LOL. Reminds me of the Choir Robe Fund a number of years ago at ASU. When discovered, faculty members who had written checks to themselves from the Choir Robe Fund, explained that they had merely "borrowed" the money from the fund and had always intended to pay it back. No heads rolled. I see that little has changed. Now, the Ray Charles Family has the audacity of asking an accounting of their $3 million. Good luck with that.

0

Albanite 2 years, 8 months ago

Its too bad that someone of Mr. Charles' accomplishment is now tainted by association with the likes of ASU. If you are considering college, a degree from ASU will follow you around for life, like herpes and your first set of luggage. Just say no.

0

Amazed2 2 years, 8 months ago

I am sure the Ray Charles Fdn has figured out some of the money has been squandered on scholarships to unqualified people and besides it was never intended for scholarships. I am sure it was given with intent and a good faith understanding that ASU would pursue additional funding and start a program to raise the additonaly funding thru donations, etc. ASU has had control of this $3,000,000 Million Dollars since the early 2000's. I guess they liked the Fat Bank account and started using it for purposes unintended by the Ray Charles Fdn. I am also sure they have been tracking all the negative happenings with irregualarities at ASU and Albany/Dougherty County in general. Such as ASU admission if 350+ unqualified students, 125 scholarships using Ray Charles monies intended for a new Ray Charles Performing Arts Center, Cutliff Grove MEss with the missing $375,000 dollars, DCSS Lunch Room Fraud, DCSS CRCT Cheating Scandal. A lot of these stories do make it out of Albany into the news networks so people do get to take a close look at the Albany MESS. Before it is over the Ray Charles Foundation might want to ask the City of Albany to take down Ray's likeness/statue down from Ray Charles Park and RENAME the park to something like the Johnny Johnson Public Park. Maybe the Foundation is afraid Ray Charles name is being tarnished here in the Good Life City.

0

Cartman 2 years, 8 months ago

Ray Charles deserves a more fitting memorial than for his well-intentoned donation to be squandered. ASU should do the honorable thing and return what is left of the money and provide an honest accounting regarding the rest of the money.

0

LuLu 2 years, 8 months ago

"ASU should do the honorable thing..." Ha Ha. Hahaha.. HAHAHAHAHA!

0

ObjectiveEyes 2 years, 8 months ago

Just for grins and giggles, I searched the ASU website for "Ray Charles Presidential Scholarships." No luck. There's nothing to be found, but, I guess their are no further funds available. From the website, I couldn't figure out exactly how far $16,000 ($2,000,000 divided by 125 schollys) would go...at least without expending more energy on the effort than I wanted to give. Does anyone know what a year's tuition, room, board and books would run you at ASU? And, how do you give out 125 schollys when there are, admittedly, few performing arts majors at the school? Just saying....

0

agirl_25 2 years, 8 months ago

I found this on this page:http://www.collegedata.com/cs/data/college/college_pg03_tmpl.jhtml?schoolId=470

TUITION AND EXPENSESCost of Attendance In-state: $11,906 Out-of-state: $23,520 Tuition and Fees In-state: $5,802 Out-of-state: $17,416 Room and Board $6,104

there is a little calculator on the right side of the page that can help you calculate just how much it will cost you.

0

ObjectiveEyes 2 years, 8 months ago

Thanks, agirl_25: I saw the "calculator." I didn't want to know bad enough to enter my personal info...

0

Sign in to comment