The Tax-Deductible Donation That Enabled Hillary Clinton’s UConn Speech

This morning I Tweeted . . . 

. . . based upon this article in the Washington Post.

University of Connecticut deputy spokesman Tom Breen Tweeted back and wrote in, insisting that it’s inaccurate to say the university paid to bring Hillary Clinton to campus; instead a donor fund specified for guest speakers, the Edmund Fusco Speaker Series, paid the fee.

The university insists that these particular funds are not fungible. Kevin Edwards, the university’s vice president of finance, explained in a letter to the university’s communications office,

the donations supporting the speaker series are restricted to be used for the Speaker Series as defined by the donors in making their donation. Utilizing these contributions for any other purpose would be a breach of donor intent.

The speaker series is administered by the UConn Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization “separate and distinct from the university, but existing solely to support the university.” So the donation that helped fund Hillary Clinton’s speech at the university was tax-deductible.

According to the University’s web site,

The program is sponsored by the Fusco family of New Haven, who created the contemporary issues forum at UConn through a philanthropic gift to celebrate their family’s 90th year in business, as well as the 90th birthday of Edmund Fusco.

Hillary Clinton was the second speaker brought to the campus under the Fusco Speaker Series program. The previous one was historian Doris Kearns Goodwin in October 2012. According to Washington Speakers Bureau, Goodwin is a “category 6″ speaker, meaning a fee of $40,001 and up.

It’s a free country, and the Fusco family is free to specify how their donation is to be used, any way they like. Some may wonder whether using $250,000 to bring in a speaker for one hour of remarks and a question-and-answer session afterwards is really the best or most cost-effective way to help the university in the long run.

​At the close of fiscal year 2013, the University of Connecticut’s endowment was valued at approximately $357.6 million. In 2013, tuition, room and board at the university cost $23,496 for in-state students, $42,444 for out-of-state students.

Most Popular

Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More