Blame ‘whiny snowflakes’ for wealthy donors withdrawing support for major universities

January 31, 2024

By Tim Worstall

Harvard’s “whiny snowflakes” are losing donations by the billions. 

And it’s for that reason: Harvard’s leading donors has suspended his donations because he says the college only produces “whiny snowflakes.”

A major Harvard donor has halted financial support for the university and accused elite US colleges of producing “whiny snowflakes” instead of future leaders. Ken Griffin, an alumnus who donated $300 million (£237 million) to Harvard last year,

Griffin is one of the world’s leading hedge fund managers – near certainly the richest of them. What’s more likely to strike fear into Harvard students is that he’s unlikely to be hiring such “whiny snowflakes” any time soon.

As Bill Ackman, another Wall Street hedge fund manager, made the threat to antisemitic students clearer:

Billionaire hedge fund manager and Pershing Square founder Bill Ackman has asked the school to reveal the names of students who signed a statement holding Israel “entirely responsible” for the deadly conflict so he and other CEOs do not “inadvertently hire” those people.

We, and supporters like you, can claim some credit here:

Revealing their names shocked many signatories. Some pulled their signatures. Others claimed they didn’t know what they were signing. Despite attempts to conceal the names, several dozen names were exposed for all to see, emblazed on a digital billboard on a truck driving around campus.

But what will have the college administrators, rather than just the students, afeared is that the donations are no longer flowing in:

The impact on donations has been felt by Harvard, where former Victoria’s Secret CEO Les Wexner, whose foundation had given untold millions to Harvard over 34 years, cut ties with the university.

Over at UPenn, much the same is happening:

In the days following, more big donors followed suit. The Huntsman family, hedge fund veteran David Magerman, and billionaire Clifford Asness all said they halted donations to Penn. Billionaire Ronald Lauder threatened to do the same.

These numbers are adding up – enough even that Harvard is having to take note:

“‘President Gay’s failures have led to billions of dollars of canceled, paused, and withdrawn donations to the university,’ Ackman wrote.

‘I am personally aware of more than a billion dollars of terminated donations from a small group of Harvard’s most generous Jewish and non-Jewish alumni,’ he added.”

Yes, even for Harvard, a billion dollars is real money. 

To take us back to Griffin and the “whiny snowflakes”:

Griffin, who has built a fortune that Bloomberg estimates is $37 billion, is now expressing significant concern about the direction of elite schools and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policies.

“Will America’s elite universities 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 microaggressions and a DEI agenda that has no real endgame,” Griffin said.

This is the big question – even the Big Question – about America’s colleges, even the education system as a whole.

The attitudes, beliefs and activities on campus were no different on October 6 than they were on October 8, after the Hamas attacks. What did change is that we all woke up to how woke these campuses were. How out of touch with reality – in effect, how vile they had become in their pursuit of the DEI, CRT and progressive mantras and how divorced from that real world outside the ivory towers.

The task is to change them now, to bring them back to what they should be – those educational institutions that teach both our young and all of us about how the world is, not the fervid dreams of some progressive nirvana.

It’s not going to be easy doing that, of course, but the first step is as with these billionaire ex-donors: We have to stop giving them our money. If that includes our tax money not going to them, all the better.

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