The Ray Charles Foundation is demanding a $3 million refund from Albany State University.
Recent controversy has prompted the Ray Charles Foundation gave a $3 million gift to the historically black university (HBCU) more than a decade ago.
The funds were given to be used for the construction of a performing arts center in R&B singer’s name. However, the gift has not been spent, and the building has not been built.
“It only exists on the drawing board and in an unapproved downsized plan,” a spokesperson said.
“Charles was specific on how the money was to be spent,” stated Valerie Ervin the President of the Ray Charles Foundation.
“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 added.
However, according to Albany State University spokesman Demetrius Love, the gift did not come with restrictions, and they are continuing to receive additional funding for the building, that is expected to cost a minimum of $23 million.
“It has been a long and tedious process, but strides have been made in accomplishing this goal,” Love said in an email statement. “Albany State University will continue in its efforts of honoring Mr. Ray Charles by constructing a fine arts building in his name.”