ASU refunds donation from Ray Charles - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

ASU refunds donation from Ray Charles

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Albany State University has refunded a $3,000,000 gift from Albany's most famous native son.

ASU gave back $3,000,000 to the Ray Charles Foundation.

The organization says the university didn't use the money to build a performing arts center as Charles directed when he made the donation.

Foundation representatives say they're happy to have the money back, but it's bittersweet.

"There's no question it was disappointing. He gave the commencement address back in 2000 or 2001 where he announced the gift himself and it's disappointing that his intentions were not carried through," said David Brokaw, Ray Charles Foundation Public Relations.

Late tonight, ASU released a statement from University President Everett Freeman.

Freeman said the university still needs a fine arts building toward which it planned to use the donation and will continue to work to get that facility built.

Here is the full statement from Albany State University

"The return of funds donated by the late Ray Charles brings to a close negotiations with the Ray Charles Foundation," said Albany State University President Everette J. Freeman.

"We thank Chancellor Hank Huckaby, the University System of Georgia, the Board of Regents and the Attorney General's office for assisting us in resolving this issue.

A new fine arts building remains one of the university's greatest needs which we hope will be completed as soon as possible.

ASU will continue with plans to build the educational facility and remains focused on increasing student scholarships and development."

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