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February 26, 2015

Chapman U. Settles Suit Alleging Exploitation of Older Donor

Chapman University has reached a settlement with a 98-year-old donor who claimed the Southern California institution took advantage of his advanced age to secure a $12-million gift for a new building, the Orange County Register reports. In a brief statement Wednesday, the university said "previously donated funds" from James and Catherine Emmi would be redirected to create a scholarship fund for engineering students.

Neither side would elaborate on the terms of the agreement, which settles a suit Mr. Emmi filed earlier this month. The retired developer and Chapman trustee alleged university leaders pressured him for money as he aged and became "more susceptible to inducement and confusion." The suit sought a return of $3-million the Emmis had already given and a suspension of the remainder of the contracted $12-million pledge.