UPDATE: Schwarzenegger refuses $40K for commencement speech
UPDATE 5 p.m., Thursday: According to a news release by the University’s Office of Communication, Schwarzenegger announced that he will not accept a speaking 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. He has asked his representatives to waive the fee, and he looks forward to his visit,” said Daniel Ketchell, a spokesman for Schwarzenegger, in a news release.
It is unclear if the money will be repurposed toward other University expenses.
5 a.m.: Big names come at a big price—Arnold Schwarzenegger is being paid $40,000 to give a 25-minute commencement speech on May 12 at TDECU Stadium, according to the Houston Chronicle, which obtained a contract for the speech.
The spring 2017 commencement speaker was announced on Tuesday. Schwarzenegger will join the ranks of actor Matthew McConaughey and astronaut Scott Kelly as speakers during the University’s annual all-college graduation event.
The world-renowned actor and former California governor will be provided a king-sized room at a top class hotel by the University and will have a limousine at his disposal while in town, the Chronicle reported.
The contract permits Schwarzenegger to hold political fundraisers in Houston, but he cannot speak at a “separate live, in-person public ticketed event” in or around Houston between now and the ceremony.
McConaughey was paid $135,000 for his speech in 2015 and Kelly was paid $35,000.
Schwarzenegger is best known for his work in “The Terminator” movies of the late 1980s and early 90s and his term as governor starting in 2003. He recently replaced President Donald Trump as host of “The Celebrity Apprentice.”