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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) – University of Wyoming officials estimate Vice President Dick Cheney’s gift of stock options will be worth at least $1.5 million.

Cheney and UW have been discussing how the money will be used after the options are exercised, according to UW spokesman Jay Fromkin. He did not speculate when that decision will be made.

“The good news – of course this is all good news – is additionally, when the money is realized from the stock options, those funds will qualify for the state endowment match,” he said.

The Legislature approved a bill earlier this year that establishes a $30 million fund to match private donations to UW of $50,000 or more.

Cheney, to avoid conflicts of interest, has been ridding himself of stocks and stock options since his nomination as President Bush’s running mate a year ago. He was previously chairman of Halliburton Co. and much of his stocks and options have been in that company.

He has sold more than $26 million in Halliburton stocks alone.

However, he cannot cash in unvested stock options. Cheney attorney Terrence O’Donnell announced March 5 that the vice president will donate the stock options to UW, Capital Partners for Education and George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates. The latter two are located in Washington, D.C.

Profits from 40 percent of the shares will go to UW. Profits from another 40 percent will go to the Richard B. Cheney Cardiac Institutes and the remaining 20 percent will go to Capital Partners, a group that provides education aid to low-income high school students.

O’Donnell said Cheney signed an “irrevocable agreement” on Jan. 18 to charitably donate the proceeds from the sale of the stock options. Besides Halliburton, the stock options are in Electronic Data Systems and Proctor & Gamble. Cheney has also served on the boards of those companies.

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