Growing List of Wealth Donors Abandoning Harvard, UPenn Over Failure to Condemn Anti-Semitism, Hamas Attack

Craig Bannister | October 18, 2023
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A growing number of wealthy donors and alumni are cutting ties with Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania, due to the Ivy League schools’ failure to condemn Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel and the students who are cheering the unprovoked assault.

After the Hamas attack, Harvard refused to either condemn the Anti-Semitic terrorism or denounce a letter by student groups declaring support for Hamas and blaming Israel for the attack.

Likewise, the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) failed to condemn Hamas for the October 7 attack and chose not to denounce a Palestinian festival held at the school last month, which gave voice to multiple Anti-Semitic speakers.

As a result, the following billionaire and millionaire donors have reportedly either, or threatened to cut, ties with their alma maters:

  • Bill Ackman, the CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management (Harvard)
  • Wexner Foundation Co-Founder and former CEO of Victoria's Secret and founder of Bath and Body Works Leslie Wexner (Harvard)
  • Israeli billionaire shipping and chemicals magnate Idan Ofer (Harvard)
  • Former governor of Utah and U.S. ambassador to China, Russia and Singapore Jon Huntsman Jr. (UPenn)
  • Apollo Global Management CEO Marc Rowan (UPenn)
  • Former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman and current chairman of Apollo's board Jon Clayton (UPenn)
  • David Magerman, who helped build the trading systems of Renaissance Technologies (UPenn)
  • Charter school leader Vahan Gureghian, resigned as member of UPenn’s Board of Trustees (UPenn)
  • Television Producer Dick Wolf (UPenn)
  • Billionaire Ronald Lauder (UPenn)
  • David Magerman, who helped build the trading systems of Renaissance Technologies (UPenn)


Additionally, billionaire Kenneth Griffin, who pledged $300 million to Harvard earlier this year, has demanded that Harvard take a stronger, more vocal stance in support of Israel.

Ackman has called on alma mater Harvard to release the names of students who signed the anti-Israel letter that claims Israel's "apartheid regime is the only one to blame" for the war – so that he can blacklist them.

The Harvard Kennedy School's Wexner Israel Fellowship, to which Wexner had donated at least $42 million, will now be discontinued.

“People who care about morality and ethics should just leave institutions that show they don’t,” Magerman said Tuesday in an interview, criticizing UPenn’s “misguided moral compass.” In a letter to UPenn, Magerman said he was “deeply ashamed” of his association with the university and plans to cease all donations.

“The University of Pennsylvania does not condemn as evil the butchers who beheaded babies and kidnap and rape girls,” Magerman wrote in his letter. “This University of Pennsylvania does not consider those actions to be evil and their perpetrators to be evil.”

'There is no action anyone at Penn can take to change that. You have shown me who you are,” Magerman wrote, calling on “all self-respecting Jews, and all moral citizens of the world” to sever ties with the university.