Billionaire Ken Griffin is the founder of Citadel, a hedge fund infamously involved with the GameStop stock scandal. He and Citadel have since moved from Chicago to Florida and is a top DeSantis donor, having given nearly $11 million to DeSantis during the 2022 campaign.
Griffin also has backed DeSantis for president in 2024, saying, “I don’t think I need to talk about Ron DeSantis. I just need to look across the state and realize that message is being delivered here in Florida, that I’d like to see that message across America.” Continuing, he added, “American voters, I think, will see what opportunity looks like when they look at the state of Florida in two years. They’ll make a decision and I think that the results in the state speak for themselves.”
That same DeSantis supporter is now also siding with Harvard, one of the wokest universities and one currently involved in a racial discrimination lawsuit, giving it $300 million dollars. The Harvard Gazette, announcing that donation, said:
Harvard University announced today that business leader and philanthropist Kenneth C. Griffin ’89 has made a gift of $300 million to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) to support the School’s mission and to advance cutting-edge research and expand access and excellence in education for students and scholars regardless of economic circumstances. This unrestricted gift furthers Griffin’s philanthropic legacy at Harvard, which spans four decades and totals more than $500 million.
In recognition of Griffin’s commitment to Harvard’s mission over the years, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences will be renamed the Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in his honor.
Griffin’s most recent gift builds on his commitment to expanding opportunity and his legacy of transformational support for the FAS and across Harvard. His $150 million contribution to financial aid in 2014 remains the largest single gift to undergraduate financial aid and to Harvard College. That endowed gift currently supports 228 undergraduates — and has supported more than 600 to date. It also established the Griffin Leadership Challenge, which inspired alumni and other donors to establish 654 new scholarships during a four-year period and made it possible for the FAS to raise $600 million for undergraduate financial aid.
Harvard President Larry Bacow, speaking about the donation, said, “Ken’s exceptional generosity and steadfast devotion enable excellence and opportunity at Harvard, His choice to support FAS underscores the power of education to transform lives and to expand the reach of our research in every field imaginable. It has been a great pleasure to get to know Ken throughout my presidency, and I am deeply and personally appreciative of the confidence he has placed in us — and in our mission — to do good in the world.”
The Griffin donation to Harvard was hammered by conservative figures on Twitter as a complete waste of money, and also used to show that DeSantis, funded by Griffin, is probably not as populist or far to the right as those who support him want him to be. Mike Cernovich, for example, said (tweet condensed into paragraph form):
GOP mega donor Ken Griffin is giving Harvard $300,000,000. Imagine what useful work for the country could have been done with that amount! But nope, he funded the communists. Griffin is a DeSantis backer who says it’s time to move on from Trump. There’s no common cause for me to find with someone who donates 300 million dollars to Harvard in 2023. He could have put that into Daily Wire, college scholarships for conservatives, I mean just imagine. But he funded communists instead. No thanks.
Continuing the thought in a quote-tweet, Cernovich also said, “It’s becoming more clear that I overestimated DeSantis’ strategic understanding of the game. No, you don’t roll with people who give Harvard 300 million dollars in 2023. Not ever. Maybe I’ve been wrong about DeSantis. This is pure communism funding by Griffin. Utter scum.”
Ken Griffin image credit: By Paul Elledge – Citadel Enterprise Americas LLC, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=112397895
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