The University of Pennsylvania lost a reported $100 million donation following a tense hearing on the antisemitism in the wake of the horrific attack on Israel.
UPenn president Liz Magill testified on Capitol Hill about antisemitism this week and did not directly answer questions about antisemitism against Jews on campus.
“I am asking specifically: calling for the genocide of Jews, does that constitute bullying or harassment?” Rep. Elise Stefanik, (R-NY), asked Magill.
“If it is directed and severe or pervasive, it is harassment,” Magill responded.
“So, the answer is yes?” Stefanik asked.
“It is a context-dependent decision,” Magill shot back.
“It is a context-dependent decision? That’s your testimony today? Calling for the genocide of Jews is depending upon the context?” Stefanik said.
The testimony sparked tremendous backlash, with calls for Magill to resign. Democrat Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro called her responses “shameful.” According to a letter obtained by Axios, Stone Ridge Asset Management CEO and Penn alumnus Ross Stevens has withdrawn an estimated $100 million donation to the school.
A University of Pennsylvania donor is withdrawing a gift worth around $100 million to protest the school’s response to antisemitism on campus.
The gift from Stevens, a Penn undergrad alum, was given in December 2017 to help establish a center for innovation in finance.
It was in the form of limited partnership units in Stone Ridge, with the current value estimated at around $100 million.
In his letter to UPenn, Stevens alleged the school violated the terms of the limited partnership agreement, including anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies.
“Its permissive approach to hate speech caling for violence against Jews and laissez faire attitude toward harassment and discrimination against Jewish students would violate any policies of rules that prohibit harassment and discrimination based on religion, including those of Stone Ridge,” he wrote.
This past October, David Magerman, who helped build the trading systems of Renaissance Technologies, scolded UPenn President Elizabeth Magill and Chair of the Board of Trustees Scott Bok for hosting Palestine Writes Literature and for a poor response to the Hamas terror attack in Israel.
“People who care about morality and ethics should just leave institutions that show they don’t,” Magerman told Bloomberg in a phone interview on Tuesday, adding that he is “deeply ashamed” of his association with the university and is planning to cease donations.
Magerman jumping ship came after UPenn lost a major donor and board member due to antisemitism on campus. Jon Huntsman, former U.S. ambassador and a major donor to the university, said he would no longer be funding the school, citing its silence in the face of the horrific terrorist attack.
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