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."