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Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 8:00am

Ray Charles Foundation Wants Gift Back

Updated: 2 years ago.
The Ray Charles Foundation says Albany State University has not built a performing arts center in the artist’s name, so the foundation wants the university to return $3 million given for that purpose. (Photo Courtesy of mararie via Flickr.)

The head of the Ray Charles Foundation is demanding the return of a $3 million gift to Albany State University in south Georgia. The organization said the college has yet to use the funds to build a performing arts center in the artist's name, the purpose of the donation.

Charles, a native of Albany, died in 2004. He gave Albany State $1 million in 2001 and $2 million in 2002. The $1 million gift remains in the bank, and the $2 million was given to 125 students chosen to be Ray Charles Presidential Scholars. According to the foundation, the funds were granted "solely to help build a performing arts center."

Albany State University spokesman Demetrius Love said the gift was never restricted and the school continues to pursue additional funding for the building.