Dec 7, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Penn loses $100 million donation over antisemitism hearing

University of Pennsylvania president Liz Magill testifying in front of Congress. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A University of Pennsylvania donor is withdrawing a gift worth around $100 million to protest the school's response to antisemitism on campus.

The big picture: The final straw for Ross Stevens, founder and CEO of Stone Ridge Asset Management, was Tuesday's widely criticized congressional testimony by Penn president Liz Magill.

Details: 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.
  • Stevens, in a letter from his lawyers to Penn, alleges that the school has violated the terms of the limited partnership agreement, including its anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies.
  • Referring to Penn, Stevens' attorneys write: "Its permissive approach to hate speech calling for violence against Jews and laissez faire attitude toward harassment and discrimination against Jewish students would violate any policies or rules that prohibit harassment and discrimination based on religion, including those of Stone Ridge."

Backstory: This isn't the first time that Stevens has used his pocketbook to express disagreement with Penn policies. Earlier, he redirected a different $100 million gift from Penn's business school to the University of Chicago.

  • According to the New York Times, Stevens "changed his mind because he thought the school was prioritizing D.E.I. over enhancing the business school's academic excellence."

What's next: The letter concludes by offering to discuss the matter further. But a source close to the situation tells Axios that the current intention is to withdraw the gift.

Editor's note: This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Read the letter from Stevens to Penn:

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