Smiley's name removed from TSU school

Oct. 24, 2009 at 1:51 PM
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HOUSTON, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Broadcaster Tavis Smiley says he didn't come up with the dough so his name will go from Texas Southern University's communication school.

Smiley said he was informed by TSU President John Rudley that the Houston university's board has decided the Tavis Smiley School of Communication will be renamed because Smiley has not fulfilled a $1 million donation, the Houston Chronicle reported Friday.

Smiley, 45, vowed to donate $1 million to the school in 2004 and raise an additional $1 million. To date, he has donated $50,000 while raising an additional $250,000.

"Because you did not fulfill your original commitment to our partnership, TSU plans to treat the partnership as being at an end," Rudley was quoted as saying in a Sept. 28 letter to Smiley. "

Smiley, known for his Black Entertainment Television and radio work, maintains TSU officials named the school after him before he even agreed to donate the $1 million.

"I even made a joke, how much is this decision going to cost me?" Smiley said of a conversation he had with former TSU President Priscilla Slade. "She said, 'This decision has already been made.'"

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