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Credit: Megan Jones

If the name of one of the Pennovation Center’s designers sounds familiar, it’s probably because his cousin has been cropping up in the news during this election cycle.

MarcKushner, who founded the architecture firm HWKN with fellow architect Matthias Hollowich in 2007, was hired by Penn to design the new Pennovation Center with Hollowich. The Pennovation Center, which opened this fall, was created by the University to “bridge the intellectual and entrepreneurial initiatives”.

Marc Kushner is related to Penn’s most notorious alumnus — his cousin, Jared Kushner, is married to Ivanka Trump, the daughter of Republican presidential nominee and 1968 Wharton graduate Donald Trump. Jared Kushner acted as Trump’s de facto campaign manager this summer after former manager Corey Lewandowski was fired, and has since been closely involved in election matters.

However, Marc Kushner has not always agreed with the politics of his cousin’s campaign. Jared Kushner drew ire this summer from critics, including Marc, because of a piece defending a tweet by Donald Trump in The New York Observer. 

In response to a tweet by Donald Trump of what many called an anti-Semitic image, Jared Kushner asserted that Trump is “not an anti-Semite” and defended himself as “the grandson of Holocaust survivors”.

Politico reported that Marc Kushner reputed his cousin’s article in a Facebook post. He wrote that he had “a different take­away from my Grandparents' experience in the war” and that “it is our responsibility as the next generation to speak up against hate. Antisemitism [sic] or otherwise”. He also shared the original piece, written by a Jewish writer, that provoked Jared.

Marc Kushner is the latest connection between Penn and the Trump family. The project that he co-designed, the Pennovation Center, is currently open to the Penn community, with a grand opening Friday. 

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