A struggling public university in California's farm country is preparing to receive Sarah Palin amid fanfare, protests and months of legal wrangling over the former Alaska governor's appearance.
The 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate is set to headline the 50th anniversary gala at California State University, Stanislaus, on Friday night. More than 360 donors paid $500 per ticket to attend the black-tie fundraiser in the school's cafeteria.
Palin's speech has generated intense intrigue and scrutiny since the nonprofit foundation holding the event first announced her visit in March. Protesters are planning an afternoon rally in the nearby town of Turlock.
University officials have refused to divulge the terms of her contract or her speaking fee.