Open Letter from Wharton Faculty, Students, and Alumni to Trump


Here is a background note written by Michael Barbaro and published on the progressive blog Crooks and Liars:

“All the way back in June of 2015, this news was reported, although at the time many of us dismissed it because clearly we had no idea how insane this election would be, or how little control the GOP would have over their candidates. So no one really cared what Trump was bragging about.

“Not kidding. Trump just said this: ‘I went to the Wharton School of Business. I’m, like, a really smart person.’

“Now to be clear, he did not graduate from Wharton, he merely attended classes there. The Washington Post reports that he ‘took undergraduate classes at Penn’s famed Wharton School of Business, though he was not enrolled in Wharton’s prestigious MBA program.’

“But, Salon reports that Trump embellished (lied) about his attendance and even went so far as to insinuate that he graduated first in his class, with honors. Both are lies. Blatant, flat out, clear cut lies. In fact, he does not appear on any honor list.

Salon reported back in 2011: ’Trump did not go to Wharton’s prestigious MBA program. Rather, he received an undergraduate degree offered by Wharton to University of Pennsylvania students. And Trump didn’t attend Wharton for a full four years. Instead, he transferred there after spending his first two undergraduate years at Fordham, the Jesuit university in the Bronx.’

“This is a dramatically different story than he has presented in numerous interviews, going back to the New York Times in 1973. But hey, compared to his other lies, a college graduation isn’t as bad, right?

“Well, apparently the real graduates of the Wharton MBA program are not having it. Over 1,100 fellow graduates of the Wharton School have signed a public denunciation of Donald Trump. So far, 1,181 graduates have signed (and counting) going back as far as 1956 graduate, Herbert Bobman, up to future 2020 graduate, Zachary Winston.”


Dear Mr. Trump:

At the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, students are taught to represent the highest levels of respect and integrity. We are taught to embrace humility and diversity. We can understand why, in seeking America’s highest office, you have used your degree from Wharton to promote and lend legitimacy to your candidacy.

As a candidate for President, and now as the presumptive GOP nominee, you have been afforded a transformative opportunity to be a leader on national and international stages and to make the Wharton community even prouder of our school and values.
However, we have been deeply disappointed in your candidacy.

We, proud students, alumni, and faculty of Wharton, are outraged that an affiliation with our school is being used to legitimize prejudice and intolerance. 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 Wharton community is a diverse community. We are immigrants and children of immigrants, people of color, Muslims, Jews, women, people living with or caring for those with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ community. In other words, we represent the groups that you have repeatedly denigrated, as well as their steadfast friends, family, and allies.

We recognize that we are fortunate to be educated at Wharton, and we are committed to using our opportunity to make America and the world a better place — for everyone. We are dedicated to promoting inclusion not only because diversity and tolerance have been repeatedly proven to be valuable assets to any organization’s performance, but also because we believe in mutual respect and human dignity as deeply held values. Your insistence on exclusion and scapegoating would be bad for business and bad for the American economy.

An intolerant America is a less productive, less innovative, and less competitive America.

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.


Michael Barbaro’s complete article is available at:


3 thoughts on “Open Letter from Wharton Faculty, Students, and Alumni to Trump

  1. Applause for the students at Wharton and their promotion of the diversity that makes America, and Wharton School of the Univ. of PA, a GREAT place to live and achieve a higher ed degree!

  2. I suggest the widespread dissemination of this will generate and / or reinforce more votes for Trump that it costs him.

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