Harvard University admitted Thursday that it accepted $8.9 million in donations from Jeffrey Epstein — but no money after the pedophile financier’s 2008 guilty plea.
The news follows on the heels of revelations that Epstein donated $7.5 million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — money that institution pocketed after, and despite, his pleading guilty to soliciting sex from an underage girl.
In addition to donating to Harvard, Epstein, who committed suicide in a Manhattan federal jail last month, was also made a Visiting Fellow in the school’s Department of Psychology in 2005 at the urging of former faculty member Stephen Kosslyn.
“We are seeking to learn more about the nature of that appointment from Dr. Kosslyn, who no longer works at the University,” Lawrence S. Bacow, who is president of the Ivy League school, said in an email to students, alumni and faculty.
The cash, accepted between 1998 and 2007, supported “various faculty and institutional research activities across the University,” Bacow said.
The largest single gift was $6.5 million Epstein gave in 2003 to support Harvard’s “Program for Evolutionary Dynamics.’
The program, which was founded that year, “is the study of the fundamental mathematical principles that guide evolution,” the university’s website says.
“To date, we have uncovered no gifts received from Epstein or his foundation following his guilty plea,” Bacow said.
Epstein’s gifts funded research and education “and nearly all were spent years ago,” the email said, without elaborating.
The email ends,
“Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes were repulsive and reprehensible. I profoundly regret Harvard’s past association with him. Conduct such as his has no place in our society. We act today in recognition of that fact. And we do so knowing that the scourge of sexual assault continues to demand our close attention and concerted action.
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“Harvard is not perfect, but you have my commitment as president that we will always strive to be better.
Lawrence S. Bacow.”