University Library Donors Default, Sue

University Library Donors Default, Sue

Paul and Irene Bogoni, who had pledged $2 million for an addition to Friedsam Memorial Library at St. Bonaventure (N.Y.) University, have said that they will not pay the final $900,000 of their gift, and have filed a suit in State Supreme Court in New York County claiming that the university is not meeting the terms of the donation and demanding that the school either provide full accounting of the gift or return the money.

The lawsuit lists several points of contention between the Bogonis and St. Bonaventure, among them that costs rose from the originally planned $1.5 million to more than $2.5 million, the Buffalo News reported March 27. “We have asked for documentation and have received nothing worthwhile,” Paul Bogoni said in a prepared statement through his attorney. “I just want to see why the project has gone over budget so dramatically.”

Emily Sinsabaugh, vice president for university relations, said in the March 20 Chronicle of Philanthropy that the project was on budget, that the Bogonis knew the cost when construction started, and that the university had provided detailed financial information.

The Bogonis said that they agreed to be sole donors in exchange for having the addition named after them. The school, however, raised additional funds to cover the construction cost, and when the Bogonis sent notification last October that they did not plan to fulfill the pledge, St. Bonaventure said that the naming rights would be affected.

The addition is 75% complete and will open in the fall.

Posted on April 11, 2008. Discuss.