Students From Donald Trump's Alma Mater: 'You Do Not Represent Us'

Some 1,400 students and alumni from the Wharton School condemned the GOP candidate's "prejudice and intolerance."
Rick Wilking/Reuters

Donald Trump is constantly reminding people he attended the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. It’s evidence of his “very good brain.”

But nearly 1,400 students and alumni from the Wharton school published an open letter on Friday to let Trump know they in no way support him.

“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 states. “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 letter concludes: “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.”

“Your discriminatory statements are incompatible with the values that we are taught and we teach at Wharton.”

Most of the signatories are current students or recent graduates, but a handful of older alums added their names, too.

Trump graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1968. The mogul usually cites the Wharton School as his alma mater rather than simply saying he went to UPenn. This can be misleading because it suggests he went to the business school to receive his MBA; in fact, Trump only spent two years at Wharton’s undergraduate school after transferring from Fordham University.

What’s more, Trump doesn’t seem to have left much of an impression in college.

Reports from the Chronicle of Higher Education and the Daily Pennsylvanian found that many classmates had never heard of him. There’s no evidence he made the dean’s list or graduated with honors, The Daily Beast reported.

No current employees or faculty in the Wharton School have donated money to Trump’s campaign, Philadelphia Magazine reported last month.

Among current students, the College Republicans club president, a junior in the Wharton school named Jennifer Knesbach, told USA Today College that only a “small minority” of members are sympathetic to his presidential bid.

The UPenn administration has avoided commenting on Trump.

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims ― 1.6 billion members of an entire religion ― from entering the U.S.


Tyler Kingkade is a national reporter who covers higher education and is based in New York. You can contact him at, or find him on Twitter: @tylerkingkade.

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