Analysis finds that Penn raises 26% of its foreign contributions from Chinese sources

The University of Pennsylvania reported a record number of sizable foreign donations and contracts after its recent international fundraising campaign.

26 percent of the contributions came from anonymous sources within the People’s Republic of China.

Even as federal lawmakers raised tough questions about donations from China, the University of Pennsylvania received a record number of large foreign donations and contracts during its recent international capital campaign. 

According to data acquired from the United States Department of Education’s Postsecondary Education Participation System and analyzed by The Daily Pennsylvanian, the Ivy League school acquired 625 large donations and contracts from foreign sources between 2014 and December 2019. 

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Of those donations, 372 — nearly 60 percent of the total — were acquired in 2019, also representing a 389 percent increase over contributions made in 2018. In monetary terms, Penn raised over $105 million in 2019 alone — a considerable portion of the $292.7 million raised between 2014 and 2019. The high level of donations points to the success of an international fundraising campaign entitled “The Power of Penn.”

As Campus Reform calculated, $77.5 million — 26 percent of the total donations and contracts over the six-year period — came from sources in the People’s Republic of China. $27 million in funding was raised from Chinese sources in 2019 alone.

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News of Penn’s record-breaking foreign fundraising campaign came a few months after federal lawmakers demanded details on anonymous donations received from China.

On January 28, Rep. James Comer (R-KY), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-VA) sent a letter to University of Pennsylvania administrators demanding that they disclose information on the donations.

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The letter also requested all information, documents, and communications involving several former Penn affiliates serving in the Biden administration — including President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Ezekiel Emanuel, who serves on the White House’s COVID-19 response team.

The university eventually told lawmakers that they had received $42.7 million from Chinese sources between January 15 and June 2020. 

Campus Reform reached out to the University of Pennsylvania for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.

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