Harvard University received nearly $9 million from Jeffrey Epstein and will be donating the leftover money gifted by the alleged sex trafficker to organizations that aid sexual assault and victims of human trafficking, the Ivy League school’s president announced in a university-wide letter.
Continue Reading Below
The memo, sent shortly before 9:30 p.m. on Thursday by President Lawrence S. Bacow, details how Epstein donated millions of dollars between 1998 and 2007.
The contributions were largely “designated for current use, not as endowed funds,” the letter states. “[N]early all were spent years ago for their intended purposes in support of research and education,” it reads.
The largest contribution, Bacow said, was made in 2003, when the financier gifted $6.5 million to go toward the university’s Program for Evolutionary Dynamics. The sum of the other gifts was approximately $2.4 million, the letter states.
Of the approximately $8.9 million Harvard received, $186,000 remains from a collection of funds that were donated to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Bacow said.
“After consultation with the Dean of the FAS, we have decided that the University will redirect the unspent resources to organizations that support victims of human trafficking and sexual assault,” he wrote. “This is an unusual step for the University, but we have decided it is the proper course of action under the circumstances of Epstein’s egregiously repugnant crimes.”
Harvard did not receive any donations from Epstein following his 2008 guilty plea in connection to soliciting prostitution, Bacow said, noting that the university actually rejected a donation from him.
The financier was indicted in July of this year on federal sex trafficking-related charges.
He was found dead in the early hours of Aug. 10 inside his Metropolitan Correctional Center jail cell in lower Manhattan. A New York City medical examiner determined he committed suicide by hanging.
Harvard is also looking into Epstein’s designation as a Visiting Fellow for the Department of Psychology – bestowed upon him by a former faculty member who had been on the receiving end of some of the multimillionaire’s gifts.
“Let me end where I began. Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes were repulsive and reprehensible,” Bacow concluded. “I profoundly regret Harvard’s past association with him. Conduct such as his has no place in our society.”
FOX Business's Melissa Francis contributed to this story.