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Princeton University says claims that the university misspent $100 million from a gift are “outrageous allegations and half-truths.” The children of a couple who used $35 million to set up a foundation dedicated to educating future diplomats at the university’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs filed a lawsuit against Princeton in 2002, claiming Princeton was not fulfilling that mission. On Wednesday, the family of the late Charles and Marie Robertson asked a judge to allow them to add new claims — including that Princeton has a pattern of using restricted gifts to supplement the university’s general fund rather than for the purposes for which they were given. In a written statement, Princeton’s administration said the new claims “appear to have been motivated more by a desire to harm the university than to advance the goals and objectives the foundation has supported for more than 40 years.” Princeton said the university began working on addressing the concerns of the Robertsons before they sued two years ago. William Robertson, a 1972 Princeton graduate and the son of Charles and Marie, said at a news conference Thursday that his family learned through documents Princeton provided in trial preparations that the university’s deceit was worse than he had previously believed. Princeton officials have maintained that Princeton has the final say over how the Robertson Foundation funds — which have grown over the years to about $600 million — are used and that they have followed the guidelines laid out in the 43-year-old agreement with the family. But William Robertson said that’s not how he sees the university’s actions or how his parents would have. “They did not give the university a blank check to use the foundation’s assets in any way they saw fit,” he said. The lawsuit is in mediation, but neither side thinks that process is likely to lead to a settlement. A trial is tentatively scheduled for fall 2005. Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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