Addict (drugaddict) wrote,
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Princeton, Diplomats and Charitable Donations

Afghan President Hamid Karzai recently noted that "once we thought
terrorism was Afghanistan's biggest enemy" but said that now "poppy, its
cultivation and drugs are Afghanistan's major enemy."


       Princeton asked to return donation
       <http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20061128-110155-1981r.htm>

   *Published November 29, 2006
   *
   ------------------------------
------------------------------------------
   TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- The family that in 1961 made one of the
   biggest donations in the history of academia to Princeton University
   wants its money back.
       Relatives of Charles and Marie Robertson said the couple wanted
   their gift to be spent solely to educate graduate students for
   careers in government, especially as diplomats for the United States.
       But the family now says the university has not churned out many
   diplomats and large portions of the gift -- now worth more than $750
   million -- have been used for other purposes. The family wants to
   take the money back so it can give it to a school that will carry
   out its mission.
      Lawyers for the Robertson family and the university yesterday
   began two days of legal arguments in state Superior Court hashing
   out the parameters of a trial that is at least several months -- and
   maybe years -- away. It is a lawsuit being closely watched by
   charities and conservative activists.
       When the late Charles and Marie Robertson anonymously donated
   $35 million in 1961, they hoped to turn the graduate school at
   Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International
   Affairs into a finishing school for U.S. government spies and
   diplomats.
       The school is undeniably prestigious. After the September 11
   attacks, for instance, it helped train Afghan leaders in the
   workings of democracy and its impressive lineup of guest lecturers
   includes U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who was scheduled to
   speak yesterday.
       But the number of government agents turned out by the school has
   been too low for the heirs of the Robertsons. They sued in 2002,
   saying the school should return more than $200 million the family
   says was inappropriately used by the university. The family also
   says it would use all the money in other ways to support Charles and
   Marie Robertson's goals.
       "Princeton takes the position that this gift was made to
   Princeton University," said Seth Lapidow, a lawyer for the Robertson
   family. "The plaintiffs believe Princeton was just the
   instrumentality of the gift -- and the gift was to the American
   public."
       While the lawsuit could reverberate through the nonprofit world,
   the arguments scheduled for yesterday and today are largely
   technical, delving into tax laws, complicated accounting formulas
   and the governance of the Princeton-controlled board that controls
   the Robertson Foundation and the relationship between that
   foundation and the university.
       Princeton wants to be recognized as the sole beneficiary of the
   gift so the money could not be granted to other institutions. The
   school argues that letting the money be taken away would be a blow
   not only to Princeton, but to the freedom of universities to make
   their own decisions.
       Even if the judge rules against the family in every issue at
   this week's arguments, the case would go forward on the basis of the
   fraud claims against Princeton, Mr. Lapidow said.



******************************
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Afghan President Hamid Karzai recently noted that "once we thought
terrorism was Afghanistan's biggest enemy" but said that now "poppy, its
cultivation and drugs are Afghanistan's major enemy."

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