A recent wave of controversy surrounding college campuses and their responses to the war in Gaza is costing Ivy League universities some of their major donors.
This week, billionaire Citadel CEO Kenneth C. Griffin, a top Harvard contributor, promised to stop donating to the school, calling students “whiny snowflakes.”
Griffin boasts a fortune of around $37 billion, according to Forbes and Bloomberg’s billionaire index. He founded Citadel in 1990, one year after graduating from Harvard. The hedge fund now handles about $62 billion in assets.
Griffin has contributed over $500 million to Harvard over the years, including a $300 million to the university’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences in 2023.
Citadel’s Griffin spoke Tuesday at an investment conference in Miami. He said his donations will resume if Harvard leaders return to educating “the future members of the House and Senate and the leaders of IBM.”
It’s worth noting that Harvard can live just fine without Griffin’s donations.
N.P. “Narv” Narvekar, CEO of the Harvard Management Company — which manages the institution’s $50.7 billion endowment — said that the company was able to produce 9.2% annualized returns in the six-year period since he took the helm.
In fiscal year 2023, ending on June 30 of last year, the company made a return of 2.9%, which allowed the university to receive over $2 billion in operating capital, supporting financial aid, faculty, research initiatives, and more.
The managers of Harvard’s endowment chose to minimize its risk by having relatively low exposure to stocks in its portfolio. Harvard allocates only 11% of its funds in public companies, while 39% are private equity assets and 31% hedge funds.
Still, Griffin isn’t the only Harvard alum upset by his alma mater’s leadership.
Former U.S. Secretary of State and former Harvard President Larry Summers said last month that he has “lost confidence” in the Harvard leadership “to maintain Harvard as a place where Jews and Israelis can flourish.”
The presidents of the University of Pennsylvania, M.I.T. and…