MONEY & BUSINESS: Harvard grad Ken Griffin blasts Ivy League students as ‘whiny snowflakes’
Longtime Harvard donor Ken Griffin has vowed to withhold financial support for the university unless it undertakes significant changes to its policy regarding antisemitism as the hedge fund billionaire lamented the “whiny snowflakes” that were being produced by Ivy League schools.
“I’m not interested in supporting the institution,” Griffin, the 55-year-old hedge fund billionaire who runs Citadel and Citadel Securities, told a conference in Miami.
Griffin, who graduated from the Cambridge, Mass.-based school in 1989, donated $300 million to Harvard in the last year alone and more than $500 million total.
But he said on Tuesday that he won’t support the school unless changes were made.
“Will America’s elite university get back to their 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 microaggressions, a DEI agenda that seems to have no real endgame, and just being lost in the wilderness?” Griffin said.
When asked by the event moderator if he was financially supporting Harvard, Griffin responded: “No.”
“I’d like that to change and I have made that clear to members of the corporate board,” the billionaire added.
Griffin said it was incumbent on Harvard to “resume their role as educating young American men and women to be leaders, to be problem solvers, to take on difficult issues.”
Until that happens, “I’m not interested in supporting the institution,” he said.
The Post has sought comment from Harvard.
Griffin also reiterated earlier comments he made vowing not to hire students who signed a letter in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks which blamed Israel for the atrocities that killed nearly 1,200 people.
Bill Ackman, another hedge fund billionaire who graduated from Harvard, originally proposed denying employment opportunities to students who signed on to the letter.
Ackman, founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, was one of the leading voices calling for the ouster of Claudine Gay, the Harvard president who resigned earlier this month after it was learned she had plagiarized several academic papers.
Gay’s replacement, interim president Alan Garber, sparked outrage after he named a fierce critic of Israel, Prof. Derek Penslar, as co-chair of a presidential task force devoted to combating campus antisemitism.
Larry Summers, the former treasury secretary and Harvard president, panned the move last week, saying: “I have lost confidence in the determination and ability of the Harvard Corporation and Harvard leadership to maintain Harvard as a place where Jews and Israelis can flourish.”
Griffin, whose name adorns Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences as well as Harvard College’s financial aid office, is the largest Harvard donor to pause support for his alma mater since Oct. 7.
Mark Zuckerberg, the former Harvard student who has kept relatively quiet about the contretemps at his old school, endorsed Sam Lessin, a Silicon Valley mogul and former Facebook executive, for a spot on Harvard’s Board of Overseers, a powerful panel that supervises the university.
Lessin has demanded the resignation of Penny Pritzker, who heads the Harvard Corporation, the smaller and more powerful of the school’s two governing boards.