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Another major UPenn donor pulls support over school’s response to Hamas as others set to follow

Another major donor to the University of Pennsylvania has pulled his support over the college’s failure to condemn the Hamas terrorist attacks — and even more are considering following suit.

David Magerman, who helped build Renaissance Technologies, slammed his alma mater’s “misguided moral compass” and said he will “refuse to donate another dollar to Penn” in a letter to President Elizabeth Magill and board chair Scott Bok posted to X.

“Over the past month, I have been deeply embarrassed by my association with and support for the University of Pennsylvania,” he wrote in the letter Monday.

“The leadership of the university has failed to demonstrate the values I expect from an institution that purports to educate young adults and prepare them for a lifetime of leadership and to be emissaries for good in the world.”

Magerman went on to hammer Magill and Bok for what he described as their “fierce support for the Hamas-affiliated speakers at the Palestine Writes Festival, followed by your equivocating statements about the heinous acts of barbarism perpetrated by the same Hamas you allowed these speakers to promote.”

The pro-Palestinian festival included author Aya Ghanameh, who has called for “Death to Israel,” and writer Randa Abdel-Fattah, who has said Israel is a “demonic, sick project” and that she “can’t wait for the day we commemorate its end.”

Pink Floyd rocker Roger Waters, who has been banned from UPenn’s campus over previous allegations of antisemitic remarks, took part in the event by Zoom.

Following the attack on Israel, critics say, Magill failed to condemn Hamas for its actions.

“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.”

He continued on to say that “regardless of the economic and social value of a Penn or Wharton degree, there is no place for self-respecting Jewish people at an institution that supports evil” as he parted ways with equity billionaire Marc Rowan — who called for Magill and Bok to resign.

Magerman argued in his letter that dismissal would be “wholly inadequate,” claiming: “You have shown me who you are.”

“My only remaining hope is that all self-respecting Jews, and all moral citizens of the world, disassociate themselves from Penn,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, Jonathon Jacobson wrote in another letter to Magill that he would only donate $1 each year until she steps down “and the Board of Trustees grows the backbone to fulfill its mission, which is to govern the university according to the principles upon which it was founded.”

“My only remaining hope is that all self-respecting Jews, and all moral citizens of the world, disassociate themselves from Penn,” he concluded.

The $1 donation is a far-cry from what he described as “multi-seven figure donations,” as well as his family’s scholarships for students and financial support for the school’s basketball program.

“The university that I attended and that shaped me, is virtually unrecognizable today, and the values it stands for are not American ones,” Jacobson wrote.

“There has been a litany of issues over the last several years where the administration has shown no leadership, moral courage or an ability to distinguish between what is clearly right and clearly wrong.”

He called university officials’ free speech defense of the Palestine Writes Festival “laughable, given that Penn ranked 247th out of 248th in FIRE’s 2024 College Free Speech Rankings (only Harvard was worse).

But Jacobson said he did not blame the university officials, writing: “You are a product of a very screwed up higher ed values system, where leaders have lost the ability to take the moral high ground.

“Unfortunately, an entire generation of our kids is also a product of this system and this ideology, which is now deeply ensconced at Penn and other countless universities, has now also affected the media, our legal apparatus and Congress.”

“We live in an unserious and highly dangerous time,” he said. “Enough. It is time to reverse this trend and restore our ‘elite’ universities to the principles upon which they were founded: as places of inquiry, where lively debate, diversity of opinion and communication across lines of difference is not only cherished, but actually mandated.”

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