Trump Family Donations To University of Pennsylvania

Trump Donations to Penn, Penn Donations, Penn Alumni Donors

The Trump children are not major donors to their alma mater (photo credit: Bryan Y.W. Shin).

In 2016, Nike co-founder Phil Knight donated $400 million to Stanford University. And that was just one of his donations to the university over his lifetime. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has donated $1.1 billion to Johns Hopkins over the last forty years. We’re quite certain Hopkins is glad they offered Mayor Bloomberg admission! And while it may be no surprise to our readers, in spite of strong ties to the University of Pennsylvania, the Trump family has not made such sizable donations to the school. In fact, a piece in “The Daily Pennsylvanian” by Lucy Curtis entitled “Records show that all three Trump children who went to Penn have donated to the University” demonstrates that they’re not exactly in the Knight-Bloomberg conversation. Not even close.

Trump Family Donations to UPenn

As Curtis reports for “The Daily Pennsylvanian,” “Since 2010, Donald Trump Jr., who graduated from the Wharton School in 2000, Ivanka Trump, who graduated from Wharton in 2004, and Tiffany Trump, who graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences in 2016, could have contributed combined donations of anywhere between $10,001 to $22,743. Other documents, including University reports and tax filings from the Trump foundation show that their father may have donated up to $1.4 million to the University.”

It seems Curtis combed through the honor rolls that are published annually by the University of Pennsylvania (a number of highly selective colleges publish very similar honor rolls in the hope of inspiring alumni to give back to their alma maters). As she reports in her piece, “According to the Honor Roll, Ivanka Trump donated to ‘other University priorities,’ while Donald Trump Jr. and Tiffany Trump donated directly to the Penn Fund. The category ‘Other University priorities’ refers to gifts donated to the University for a specific school or purpose, instead of gifts which are donated directly to the Penn Fund. Donors can select where they wish to send their gift when they make it. Ivanka Trump donated between $5,000 and $9,999 in the 2010-2011 school years. Donald Trump Jr. donated between $1,000 and $2,499 to the Penn Fund in the 2010-2011, 2011-2012, 2012-13, 2013-14, and 2014-15 school years. Tiffany Trump donated between $1 and $249 once in the 2015-16 school year.”

A Word to the Critics of the Donations of the Trump Children

So the Trump children are donating to their alma mater. Are they making the kinds of donations that allow UPenn to build a new library? Not from their donations alone, no. And while it may be surprising that such a wealthy family with such strong, proud ties to a university isn’t giving more, the Trump children are still giving back and future UPenn students are benefiting significantly from their generosity. While the peanut gallery may deride them for only donating thousands when folks like Mayor Bloomberg donate $1.1 billion, how much has the peanut gallery donated to their alma maters of late? …Bueller. Bueller.

Have a question about the Trump family donations to the University of Pennsylvania? Let us know your question by posting it below. We look forward to hearing from you! Oh, and if you intend to chastise the Trump children for their donations to their alma mater, please do post a link to a recent honor roll at your alma mater so we can see the size or your donation, too.


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