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UPenn Students Denounce Alum Donald Trump in an Open Letter

Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump may have amassed a large following, but a number of students, faculty and alumni from his alma mater are not among those “Make America Great Again” supporters. On Friday, nearly 1,400 students and alumni from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania published an open letter to Donald Trump, stating that they do not endorse him or his campaign. When the letter was updated on Monday, it had over two thousand signatures.

“We, proud students, alumni, and faculty of Wharton, are outraged that an affiliation with our school is being used to legitimize prejudice and intolerance,” the letter affirms. “Although we do not aim to make any political endorsements with this letter, we do express our unequivocal stance against the xenophobia, sexism, racism, and other forms of bigotry that you have actively and implicitly endorsed in your campaign.”

The writers later reiterate, “We, the undersigned Wharton students, alumni, and faculty, unequivocally reject the use of your education at Wharton as a platform for promoting prejudice and intolerance. Your discriminatory statements are incompatible with the values that we are taught and we teach at Wharton, and we express our unwavering commitment to an open and inclusive American society.”

Many of the signatories of the open letter are current students or recent graduates of the Wharton School, while a smaller number are older alumni. The letter also has signatures of faculty and friends, family or other supporters of the Wharton community.

Donald Trump graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1968, though he regularly names the Wharton School, specifically, as his alma mater. This suggests that he received his master’s degree from the business school, which he did not. In fact, Trump only attended Wharton’s undergraduate school for two years after transferring from Fordham University in New York City.  

Trump commonly refers to the Wharton School as an argument for his intelligence. “I’m a very smart guy, I went to the best college, I had good marks. I was a very smart guy, good student. All that stuff,” the presumptive GOP nominee said to Bill O’Reilly in 2011. However, The Daily Beast reported that Trump did not graduate with honors or make the dean’s list during his tenure at the Wharton School. Trump has refused to release his college transcripts to refute those claims, even after publically calling for President Obama to release his own transcripts. In addition, the Chronicle of Higher Education and the Daily Pennsylvanian each found that many of Trump’s classmates don’t really remember him. Most are obviously aware now that he would have been in classes with them, but they have no specific recollection of him actually being there, describing Trump as an average student who was not particularly academically motivated.

In the current Wharton community, no faculty or employees of the school have donated to Trump’s campaign, and only a small group of students support his candidacy. Meanwhile, UPenn employees have donated over $70,000 to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, according to Philly Magazine

Bragging about his alma mater, only to have them slam Trump publicly? Looks like UPenn definitely doesn’t think that Trump will Make America Great Again. 

Hello, my name is Charlotte! I am an English and Communications major here at Sonoma State, which means that I am pretty much always reading or writing something. I love reading articles posted here on Her Campus, so I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be one of the people who gets to write articles for the site. Aside from writing, I love reading, politics, Netflix, Disney princess movies, the word lovely and the color pink. Thank you very much for reading! all my love, charlotte