Billionaire Ken Griffin, a donator to Harvard, stops contribution, calls Harvard students “Whiny Snowflakes”

Billionaire Ken Griffin, who has given over $500 million to Harvard University, has quit donating to the Ivy League school because he believes it is “lost in the wilderness” and has deviated from its “the roots of educating American children.”

Griffin, who made the remarks at a Managed Funds Association convention in Miami on Tuesday, also criticized Harvard and other prestigious college students, referring to them as “whiny snowflakes.” Griffin, the founder and CEO of hedge fund Citadel, is worth about $37 billion, making him the world’s 35th richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Griffin’s remarks come amid a heated public debate over how antisemitism has been handled on college campuses since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war.

Harvard President Claudine Gay resigned earlier, citing criticism for her December congressional testimony on the university’s reaction to rising antisemitism on campus, as well as plagiarism charges in her academic work.

“Will we educate future members of the House and Senate, as well as IBM’s leaders? Or are we going to educate a generation of young men and women who are caught up in a rhetoric of oppressor and oppressed, ‘This is not fair,’ and just plain whiny snowflakes? Griffin spoke at the conference. “Where are we going with elite education in schools in America?”

Harvard did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The December congressional hearing also resulted in the resignation of University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill, who testified alongside Gay and MIT President Sally Kornbluth. The three college officials faced criticism for failing to explicitly declare whether demands for genocide against Jews would violate their schools’ standards.

Griffin, who graduated from Harvard in 1989 with a degree in economics, said Tuesday that he would like to resume his gifts to his alma mater, but that it depended on whether the university returns to its core objective.

“Until Harvard makes it clear they are going to resume their role of educators of young American men and women to be leaders, to be problem solvers, to take on difficult issues, I’m not interested in supporting the institution,” he went on to say.

Griffin is not the only wealthy Harvard alum who has expressed dissatisfaction with the university’s student body and leadership. In October, billionaire hedge fund investor Bill Ackman urged the school to provide the identities of students who belonged to organizations that signed a declaration blaming Israel for the October 7 Hamas attack on Israeli residents.

In a post on X (previously known as Twitter), Ackman stated that he wants to ensure that he does not “inadvertently hire any of their members.”

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