Officials at Donald Trump’s college alma mater have moved to distance themselves from Trump and his 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump attended the University of Pennsylvania’s famed Wharton School of Business, graduating in 1968 with an undergraduate degree in economics.
The presumptive GOP presidential nominee frequently boasts about his two years as a Wharton student, as Inside Higher Ed notes.
“Hey, look, I went to the hardest school to get into the best school in the world,” Trump said on CNN last year, for example.
“I guess you could say the Wharton School of Finance. It’s like super genius stuff. I came out. I built a tremendous company. I had tremendous success. The ‘Art of the Deal,’ ‘The Apprentice,’ everything,” Trump added.
Also last year, Trump defended a comment about Fox News journalist Megyn Kelly “having blood coming out of her wherever” by saying: “I went to the Wharton School of Finance. I was an excellent student, I’m a smart person. I built a tremendous company. I had a show called ‘The Apprentice’ that NBC desperately wanted me to do another season.” (RELATED: Trump On Megyn Kelly Blood Comment: ‘Only A Sick Person Would Even Think About It’)
Despite Trump’s numerous assertions that he attended Penn’s Wharton school, however, officials at the Ivy League bastion have essentially snubbed him.
The director of media relations at Wharton, Peter Winicov, flatly refuses to discuss Trump.
“We don’t have any information about this,” Winicov curtly informed Inside Higher Ed via email in response to an inquiry about the GOP candidate’s relationship with the school.
Additionally, professors at Wharton have claimed that school officials sent emails to them which instruct them to avoid answering questions about Trump.
“I think the truth is probably somewhat more complicated than that the school doesn’t comment on political figures,” former Wharton admissions staffer Graham Richmond told Inside Higher Ed. “I think there’s something more here, which is that Trump is — no matter how you slice it — a particularly polarizing figure.”
Richmond also suggested that Trump’s record as a businessman is littered with failures.
“Anyone who knows a lot about business can look at his track record and say it’s not like he’s a business genius. He’s made a fair number of mistakes,” Richmond said.
The school has no buildings emblazoned with the famous Trump name.
An issue of the Wharton alumni magazine from 2007 did list Trump as one of “125 Influential People and Ideas,” describing him as someone who can “rise, phoenix-like, from everything from corporate travails to satire.”
Three of Trump’s children — Donald Trump, Jr., Ivanka Trump and Tiffany Trump — attended the University of Pennsylvania. Trump, Jr. and Ivanka Trump graduated from Wharton.
Wharton touts itself as “the world’s premier business school,” where students “gain the knowledge and experience you need to become a leader in business and make a positive impact on the world.”
Before enrolling at Wharton, Trump attended Fordham University in the Bronx for two years.
The treatment Trump has received from Wharton and from the broader University of Pennsylvania is dramatically different from the way Wellesley College, Hillary Clinton’s alma mater, has treated Clinton.
Wellesley has celebrated Clinton very publicly on its website as well on Facebook and Twitter. Officials at the all-female school have also published audio footage of Clinton’s 1969 commencement speech.