Deep-pocketed donors are rebelling against the University of Pennsylvania, vowing to withhold donations over the school’s tolerance of blatant anti-Semitism on campus.
In an op-ed last week, billionaire Marc Rowan, the CEO of Apollo Global Management, called for the resignation of UPenn President Elizabeth Magill and urged fellow donors to stop giving to the university over her failure to condemn campus anti-Semitism.
Rowan, one of UPenn’s wealthiest donors and the chair of the board of advisors at the Wharton School, urged alumni, donors, and other UPenn supporters “who believe we are heading in the wrong direction” to keep their checkbooks closed until Magill and the chair of the university’s board of trustees both resign.
But Rowan isn’t the only prominent UPenn donor closing his checkbook.
Central to the donors’ complaint is the tepid condemnation of anti-Semitism that UPenn officials expressed ahead of the Palestine Writes Literature Festival that took place on campus last month.
University officials admitted that the multiday event featured anti-Semitic speakers and released a statement condemning anti-Semitism in general while failing to specifically condemn the anti-Semitism at the event itself.
After the October 7 Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel, the anger over UPenn’s tepid response to campus anti-Semitism only grew.
On Wednesday, CNN reported that venture capitalist David Magerman became the latest donor to end his financial support to the university and call on other Jewish donors to follow his lead.
In a letter to UPenn on Tuesday, Magerman, a graduate of the university, expressed shame for his association with UPenn and said he would not donate “another dollar.” Magerman described the university as “an institution that supports evil” and said it was “no place for self-respecting Jewish people.”
Another major UPenn donor, hedge fund billionaire Cliff Asness, also announced that he is withholding donations to the school.