Ingratitude, Harvard style

Hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin is an alumnus of Harvard who is grateful for his education. He has given millions to Harvard. Most recently, he gave an unrestricted gift of $300 million to Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is to be renamed in his honor. It’s hard to believe he couldn’t resist the temptation, find a worthier object of his charity, or distinguish between friends and enemies.

One might think that a simple thank-you from Harvard would be in order, but that is not the way of the world in our elite institutions of higher learning. Griffin is also a substantial Republican donor. Griffin’s departure from the party line at Harvard does not go down well with the renaming. The Harvard Crimson has an entire story on the fallout among the illuminati here. Take this, Mr. Griffin:

Theda R. Skocpol, a Government and Sociology professor and former GSAS dean, slammed the decision in an email to The Crimson.

“I am absolutely disgusted at the sale of the GSAS name to a multi billionaire who works in US politics today to undermine the foundations of liberal civil society, including free speech, and to eviscerate the essential trans partisan features of fully representative US democracy,” she wrote.

“This is a shocking and unnecessary sell out by Harvard and FAS leaders who, at the same time, claim to be worried about Harvard College’s acceptance of slavery in the 1700s,” Skocpol added. “Feel free to quote me.”

Professor Skockpol is a dummy. She’s worse than a dummy, but I’ll leave it at that.

However, all is not lost. Sanity reigns in a small corner of the university:

Economics professor N. Gregory Mankiw wrote in an email that Harvard “should not judge the political views of its donors,” adding that he was “very grateful for Mr. Griffin’s generosity.”

Professor Mankiw is no dummy.

The Crimson story includes a statement from a Griffin spokesman who happens to be a Harvard alum and former Crimson editor:

In a statement, Jaquelyn M. Scharnick ’06, a spokesperson for Griffin and a former Crimson News editor, called Griffin “one of the strongest supporters of free speech and free inquiry in the country.”

“Ken said as recently as today that no one who contributes to a politician agrees 100% with their views and policy positions,” Scharnick wrote. “This is as true for Ken’s financial support of Governor DeSantis as it was for his backing of the campaigns of President Obama and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.”

The Obama thing represents pathetic groveling that doesn’t help Griffin one bit among the Harvard illuminati. Live and learn. It’s ancient history and they are absorbed in current battles. The Rahm Emanuel thing reflects the former location of the headquarters of Griffin’s hedge fund in Chicago. He has since moved the company to the more welcoming environment in Florida.

The Crimson story includes the response to its request for comment by the spokesman for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences:

FAS spokesperson Anna G. Cowenhoven declined to comment and referred The Crimson to the official announcement in The Harvard Gazette, a University-run publication. The Gazette article does not mention Griffin’s political views or activities.

I take that as no comment.

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