Originally published in The Philadelphia Inquirer
In the past two weeks, several Jewish megadonors and their allies have thunderously announced that they are pulling financial support from their alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania. The donor letters that have been made public thus far eviscerate Penn president Liz Magill and other university leaders for failing to condemn the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas on Israeli civilians as terrorism.
The letters illuminate Magill’s apparent struggle to clarify the university’s position on antisemitism after four Penn departments sponsored a shocking number of antisemitic speakers at the Palestinian Writes festival on campus in late September, just weeks prior to the terrorist attacks in Israel.
One of the outraged donors pulling their support was Penn alumnus and billionaire donor David Magerman, a computer scientist and philanthropist. Magerman excoriated Penn’s “misguided moral compass.” He was joined by Penn alumni Cliff Asness of AQR Capital Management, Marc Rowan of Apollo Global Management, Law & Order creatorDick Wolf, former U.S. diplomat and businessman Jon Huntsman, and president of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald Lauder. These Penn donors are part of a growing cadre of billionaires who are pulling their money from America’s most vaunted colleges and universities after realizing there is a moral rot in higher education.
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