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Donor Withdraws Planned Gift to Westfield State

WSUWebBOSTON (AP/WGGB) — A donor who had planned a $100,000 gift to Westfield State University says he is withdrawing the offer in light of revelations that the college’s president spent lavishly.

John P. Walsh, president of Elizabeth Grady cosmetics, told ABC40’s Mike LaCrosse in an email he is withdrawing his offer to the college’s foundation, which raises money for scholarships and other educational programs, unless President Evan Dobelle either steps down or reimburses the college.

A report found that Dobelle billed the foundation for more than $200,000 in travel, meals and entertainment. Dobelle said the spending has been to promote the university and repaid some.

Westfield State University said, “The WSU Foundation has confirmed that Mr. Walsh has not made any signed pledge to the university. In any event, all WSU supporters will be pleased with the outside accountants’ findings that there are no personal expenses at issue. Of course, whether expenses incurred for the benefit of the University, students and faculty were justified is a matter in the sound discretion of the WSU administration and the Boards of WSU and the WSU Foundation. We are proud of what we have accomplished and have been celebrated for and are satisfied in the substantial return on investment that has been achieved. We invite Mr. Walsh or anyone else to contact us with any questions they have about WSU.”

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