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Chelsea Clinton speaks on behalf of her mother's campaign in front of Houston Hall before the Pennsylvania primary. Credit: Matthew Kolasa

Many of Bill and Hilary Clinton’s most generous donors stayed home this weekend, while a professor at Penn’s Fels Institute of Government sat in the front row of a now famous Rhinebeck, New York wedding.

On Saturday, Chelsea Clinton exchanged rings with investment banker and fellow Stanford University alumnus Marc Mezvinsky. Their 400-person guest list excluded rumored guests like Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg, but of course included Marjorie Margolies — Fels senior fellow, former member of congress, chair of Women’s Campaign International and mother of the groom.

“We’re thrilled for Marjorie and her family, and we wish the newlyweds all the best,” Director of Fels Graduate Programs Leigh Botwinik said.

The entire institute was equally supportive.

Janice Madden — professor of regional science, sociology, urban studies and real estate — works outside of the Fels office and does not know Margolies personally, but she still sent her high regards.

“I’m tremendously pleased for her and her family,” she exclaimed.

The Institute’s Executive Director David Thornburgh wished both families well and emphasized Margolies’ positive impact on Penn.

“Marjorie is an important fixture here,” Thornburgh said. “For 10 years she has served as a role model for young women interested in public service and public leadership.”

Margolies created Women’s Campaign International in 1998 to increase female participation in worldwide political operations. Her course, “Women Leaders and Emerging Democracies,” discusses these issues in depth, focusing on different areas of the world each semester.

At the bride and groom’s request, Margolies has been very quiet about the wedding over the past months, even in the office.

“She has learned from her days working in government media that when something is confidential, it’s confidential,” Thornburgh said. Margolies, a 1963 Penn graduate, served in the U.S. House of Representatives in the mid-1990s and had a long career as a television journalist.

The other course Margolies teaches is called “Dealing with the Media.”

Nobody from Fels ventured to Rhinebeck last weekend, but the faculty looks forward to the day in the coming weeks when Margolies will return to work and hopefully spill a few “insider” details.

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