Dispute Takes Tavis Smiley's Name Off College Communications School
October 27, 2009 at 1:40 PM (PT)
PUBLIC RADIO INTERNATIONAL and PBS talk show host TAVIS SMILEY's name has been pulled off of the School of Communication at TEXAS SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY after the school said SMILEY had not made good on a promised million dollar donation.
The HOUSTON CHRONICLE reports that SMILEY had promised in 2004 to donate $1 million and raise an additional $1 million for the school, and the college named the TAVIS SMILEY School of Communication in his honor as a result. However, the host has made one $50,000 donation (in 2005) and raised $250,000 from corporate donors, prompting the school to call off the deal. SMILEY tells the CHRONICLE that he thinks the naming of the school preceded his donation pledge. TSU has since established a formal naming policy requiring donations up front before a donor's name is appended to anything at the school.