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Arnold Schwarzenegger Turns Down Fee For Commencement Speech at University of Houston

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On March 22nd, Chron.com reported that the University of Houston offered Arnold Schwarzenegger $40,000 to give the commencement speech during their graduation ceremony this year. The speech is meant to last 25 minutes and inspire students to enter their new phase in life with vigor.

But Schwarzenegger says he doesn’t require the fee. “Gov. Schwarzenegger wasn’t aware that a fee was arranged by his representatives to deliver this commencement address, and he has never asked for a speaking fee to speak to students,” said Schwarzenegger spokesperson Daniel Ketchell. “He has asked his representatives to waive the fee, and he looks forward to his visit.” But Schwarzenegger will stay at a luxury hotel in Houston and fly first class round trip, which the university will fund.

Last year, the speech was given by Capt. Scott Kelly, and the year before, Matthew McConaughey spoke at the ceremony. Reports say that McConaughey was quite a bit more expensive than Schwarzenegger’s fee (before it was waived) at $135,000, though he gave away $130,000 to his charity, the Just Keep Livin Foundation.

According to the Houston Business Journal, Schwarzenegger’s “university-wide commencement is May 12 at 10 a.m. at TDECU Stadium and will be live-streamed on UH’s website.”