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November 26, 2012

Kan. Art College Sues Donors Over Unpaid $5-Million Pledge

The Kansas City Art Institute has won a court judgment against a California couple who have failed to fulfill most of a $5-million 2005 pledge the institute says it counted on to construct a new campus building, reports The Kansas City Star. But Larry Dodge, a former banking and insurance executive, and his wife, Kristina, say they have lost their fortune to the recession and regulatory disputes with the government and are unable to pay the remaining $4-million of the gift.

The Dodges' contribution was to have provided the bulk of funding for the $7-million building, which the institute dedicated in 2006 and named for the couple. "KCAI built a building based on a contract that the college had with the Dodges, and we still expect them to live up to the contract," the institute said in a statement.

Mr. Dodge said he was in talks with the institute to amend the terms of gift when the institute filed suit. The matter is due back in an Orange County, Calif., court Dec. 13 for a hearing. Ms. Dodge said the couple is selling possessions on eBay to stay afloat and called the school "completely ruthless and heartless."