Bill Clinton will address a closed-door event at the University of South Carolina, but school officials say the former president won’t be paid for his appearance.
Clinton is attending the Aug. 6 invitation-only gala at which former South Carolina Gov. Richard “Dick” Riley will donate his personal artifacts to the school’s library.
“Bill Clinton is speaking at no cost to the university, and his attendance and participation are at the invitation of Richard Riley,” university spokeswoman Peggy Binette said in an email to The State newspaper.
Riley, a longtime friend of Clinton, served as his South Carolina campaign chairman when he ran for president in 1992. Clinton later tapped Riley as his secretary of education.
In a news release, Riley, who attended law school at USC, said he has always been committed to promoting “high-quality education for all children and other students at all levels.”
“And I will be grateful forever to President Bill Clinton for giving me the opportunity to continue to pursue that passion at the national level, where I believe we made extraordinary strides,” he said.
The Richard W. Riley Collection will include documents and memorabilia that “chronicle Riley’s local, state and federal public service and work as a private citizen,” according to the 217-year-old university located in Columbia.
“I believe the collection demonstrates clearly that public service can be gratifying work, but that it absolutely requires a passion and commitment to serve the public good,” said Riley, 85.
Clinton, who usually commands big fees for his private speaking engagements, has been on a book tour for his first novel, a thriller called “The President is Missing,” written with James Patterson.
According to CNN, Bill and Hillary Clinton have earned in $153 million in speaking fees since 2001, charging more than $200,000 per speech.