Len Blavatnik has joined a “donor revolt” following Harvard University president Claudine Gay’s testimony before Congress that it depends on context whether calling for genocide against Jews violates school policy, Bloomberg reported.
Blavatnik, who is Jewish and holds an MBA from Harvard, is worth $31.8 billion, making him the world’s 47th richest person, according to Forbes. His family foundation has given at least $270 million to Harvard.
“Since Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel, alumni from billionaires to recent graduates have said they’re halting gifts until the school does more to address antisemitism. The tumult is tarnishing Harvard’s brand and damaging its carefully cultivated alumni network,” per Bloomberg.
“That in turn is threatening to dent the finances of the richest and oldest U.S. university at a time when its investment returns are lagging and Congress is considering ways to cut federal support,” it added.
David Bergeron, a former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of education, told the publication that Harvard’s revenue sources are “strained” and its “ability to raise money is clearly strained and their ability to leverage federal programs is potentially at risk.”