update deskSchools & Higher Education

Billionaire donor Kenneth Griffin ‘not interested’ in supporting Harvard

The mega-donor said at a conference in Miami that elite U.S. education must return to training future leaders, not "whiny snowflakes."

Kenneth Griffin speaks at a Managed Funds Association Network conference in Miami on Jan. 30, 2024. Source: YouTube/CNBC.
Kenneth Griffin speaks at a Managed Funds Association Network conference in Miami on Jan. 30, 2024. Source: YouTube/CNBC.

“The real question is will America’s—and I’m gonna choose a word here carefully—America’s elite university get back to the roots of educating American children, young adults, to be the future leaders of our country, or are they going to maintain being lost in the wilderness of micro-aggressions, a DEI agenda that seems to have no real end game.”

So said billionaire Kenneth Griffin—founder, CEO and co-chief investment officer of Citadel—at the Managed Funds Association Network conference in Miami on Tuesday.

Griffin spoke about his alma mater Harvard University, which has been embroiled in scandal since its now ex-president testified before a House committee that it wouldn’t necessarily violate the Ivy League school’s policies to call for genocide against all Jews.

“Are we going to educate the future members of the House, the Senate and the leaders of IBM, or are we going to educate a group of young men and women who are just caught up in a rhetoric of oppressor and oppressee, and ‘This is not fair’ and frankly, just like whiny snowflakes,” Griffin added. “Where are we going with education at elite schools in America?”

He was asked whether he would still support Harvard. Griffin noted that he wouldn’t hire student signatories of an anti-Israel letter that blamed the Jewish state for being attacked on Oct. 7.

Of supporting Harvard, Griffin said, “No. And I’d like that to change.”

“I’ve made that clear to members of the corporate board, but until Harvard makes it very clear that they’re going to resume their role as educating young men and women to be leaders, to be problem solvers, to take on difficult issues, I’m not interested in supporting the institution,” he added.

Griffin, who is reportedly worth $36.8 billion, has donated $500 million to Harvard—$300 million in the last year alone, the New York Post reported.

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