ALBANY — Former President Bill Clinton was paid $200,000 to speak last week at the University at Albany, the UAlbany Student Association president confirmed Sunday.
The association paid the money to the William J. Clinton Foundation, the former president’s nonprofit charitable organization.
Clinton spoke for nearly two hours last Wednesday before about 2,000 people as part of the university’s “World Within Reach” speaker series.
President Justin Wax Jacobs said he believes the event went spectacularly well.
“We’ve had the largest turnout for any speaker series since it began two years ago. It generated a lot of interest and more importantly it also generated interest beyond the campus,” he said.
Many elected officials were sitting in the front rows for the speech and Jacobs said the fact that the university was able to attract a former president to the campus made an impression.
Perhaps, the event may have saved UAlbany and the university system from being cut millions in the upcoming budget, Jacobs said.
Clinton’s contract with the Harry Walker Agency, which is available at the Albany Student Press’ blog, says that a deposit of $100,000 was due on or before Jan. 19 and the balance was due before Feb. 2.
The other speakers who have come to UAlbany have not been paid as much as Clinton. ABC newswoman Barbara Walters received $95,000, according to Jacobs.
The money for these speakers comes not from tuition or state aid but from an $85 fee charged to each student every semester.
Jacobs said before the event that these funds can only go toward student programming and not for academics and bringing a former president to speak at the campus was a great opportunity.
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