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Banners at Larry Bacow's 2018 inauguration as Harvard University's 29th president. Photo: Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

For 2 weeks, Harvard University has been reviewing gifts made to the school from 1998 to 2007 by sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, University President Lawrence Bacow said Thursday, the Harvard Crimson reports.

The big picture: Epstein's reported $8.9 million in gifts to Harvard, detailed by Bacow, is greater than the known $7.5 million in donations he made anonymously or circuitously to the MIT Media Lab. Epstein's largest reported donation to Harvard was a $6.5 million gift made in 2003 to the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, which studies evolution, population structure and other areas.

  • The school received roughly $2.4 million in other gifts from Epstein prior to his 2008 guilty plea that resulted in him becoming a registered sex offender.
  • Nearly all of Epstein's gifts have already been spent, but Harvard's review found an unspent balance of $186,000 that the university plans to invest in "organizations that support victims of human trafficking and sexual assault," Bacow writes.
  • The review of gifts made between 1998 and 2007 is ongoing, per Bacow, who says that Harvard has not identified gifts made following Epstein's 2008 guilty plea.

The intrigue: Bacow also wrote the university "recently learned" that former professor Stephen Kosslyn designated Epstein as a visiting fellow in 2005 for the school's psychology department. Bacow describes Kosslyn as "a beneficiary of Epstein's philanthropy."

  • Epstein donated $50,000 to Stanford University's physics department in 2004, the school confirmed 1 day after Epstein's gifts to Harvard were made public.

Read University President Lawrence Bacow's letter:

Go deeper ... Exclusive: MIT and Jeffrey Epstein's billionaire enablers

Go deeper

34 mins ago - Health

First known U.S. case of the Omicron variant identified in California

PhotoL Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The first known U.S. case of the Omicron variant was detected in California, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Wednesday.

Driving the news: The confirmed case was detected in a traveler returning from South Africa who was fully vaccinated and has mild symptoms, according to the CDC.

Supreme Court appears likely to roll back abortion rights

Abortion rights advocates and anti-abortion protesters demonstrate in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 1. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Wednesday seemed likely to weaken abortion rights and perhaps to let states ban the procedure altogether.

The intrigue: The court seemed likely to throw out the framework established in Roe v. Wade, but it wasn't clear whether a majority of the justices were inclined to overturn the court's precedents entirely.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Updated 2 hours ago - Economy & Business

How to meme a painting

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

How can a physical artwork become an NFT? One new company has just spent $12.9 million on a Banksy in an attempt to try out a new way of converting the real into the virtual.

Why it matters: The art market globally sees volume of about $60 billion per year, almost all of which is trade in physical objects. Art-world insiders including former Christie's c0-chair Loïc Gouzer are on the lookout for ways to monetize physical paintings without necessarily giving up physical ownership of them.

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