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Chairwoman of the Committee on Education and the Workforce Rep. Virginia Foxx is being supported in a major fundraiser by Marc Rowan and Ronald Lauder. Credit: Ethan Young

Two major University donors who criticized Penn President Liz Magill over antisemitism are hosting a fundraiser for the House of Representatives Republican who brought Magill before Congress, according to an invite obtained by The Daily Pennsylvanian.

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), the chair of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, has led the congressional push to question elite universities like Penn's response to antisemitism on campus this fall. Now, she is being backed by Wharton Board of Advisors Chair Marc Rowan and billionaire Ronald Lauder — prominent Penn alumni who played a significant role in the events leading up to Magill's resignation last week.

The invite prices tickets at $6,600 per couple to host, $3,300 per couple to co-host, and $1,000 for attendees. The fundraiser will be held on Jan. 22 on the rooftop of the Kimberly Hotel in New York. It will include a reception followed by a Q&A discussing antisemitism on college campuses.

Representatives for Rowan, Lauder, and Foxx did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Rowan and Lauder are among at least eight hosts for the event, who also include a head of the Manhattan Republican Party.

Magill's unprecedented resignation was largely precipitated by her controversial testimony earlier this month at a hearing held by Foxx's committee, where she did not initially provide a direct response to Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) when asked if calling for the genocide of Jews violates Penn's policies. Her comments — part of a five-hour grilling by the committee — drew swift outrage from politicians, Penn alumni, students, and community members. 

Two days after the college antisemitism hearing, the committee announced an investigation into Penn with the "full force of subpoena power." In a press release, Foxx wrote that the responses by Magill and Harvard and MIT's presidents during the hearing were "absolutely unacceptable."

"Over prepared and over lawyered given the hostile forum and high stakes, [Magill] provided a legalistic answer to a moral question, and that was wrong," then-Board of Trustees Chair Scott Bok wrote in a statement announcing he would join Magill in stepping down. "It made for a dreadful 30-second sound bite in what was more than five hours of testimony."

After Penn's response to the Palestine Writes Literature Festival and Israel-Hamas war drew scrutiny, Rowan and Lauder were among the first and most vocal University alumni to announce they were halting donations to Penn. In October, Rowan became the first donor to publicly call for Magill and Bok to resign, sustaining a campaign against University leadership for over 40 days in emails to dozens of trustees.

"I have spent the past 40 years of my life fighting antisemitism all over the world and I never, in my wildest imagination, thought I would have to fight it at my university, my alma mater and my family's alma mater," Lauder wrote in a letter to Magill earlier this fall.

The DP previously spoke to several students about their reactions to the University's leadership crisis, with students expressing mixed emotions of shock, relief, and concerns about implications for free speech and antisemitism on campus.