Ray Charles - Ray Charles Charity In Dispute With University
Bosses of a charity set up in honour of late music legend Ray Charles are demanding officials at a university in his hometown return a multi-million dollar donation after the cash sat dormant for more than ten years.
The Ray Charles Foundation gifted Albany State University (Asu) in Georgia with $3 million (£1.9 million) in 2001 to build a performing arts centre in the late singer's name, but charity bosses claim the project is yet to get underway after more than 10 years "on the drawing board".
Foundation president Valerie Ervin claims the I Got a Woman star was very specific in his instructions for the donation, so they are now asking for the cash to be returned.
Ervin tells the Associated Press, "It is incomprehensible that Albany State University failed to use the money in the manner Mr. Charles wanted. Mr. Charles would find Asu's behaviour unacceptable."
Asu spokesman Demetrius Love insists the project stalled due to funding cuts, but they still hope to build the centre: "It has been a long and tedious process, but strides have been made in accomplishing this goal. Albany State University will continue in its efforts of honouring Mr. Ray Charles by constructing a fine arts building in his name."