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Fridays from the Frontline: An Open Letter to Donald Trump from Members of Wharton’s Community

best of 2017

As anyone who has had even half an ear open to U.S. politics knows, presidential candidate Donald Trump has been quick to cite his affiliation with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. In an open letter to Trump shared via Facebook recently, a contingent of Wharton students, alumni and faculty chose to express their thoughts on Trump’s candidacy as it relates to the school’s diverse community.

Please note that the following sentiments reflect the views only of the 600 signatories to date—they are not affiliated with the Wharton School. Clear Admit also does not take a stance with regard to politics, national or international.

The following post has been republished in its entirety from its original source.

You Do Not Represent Us:
An Open Letter to Donald Trump

Dear Mr. Trump:

At the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, students are taught to represent the highest levels of respect and integrity. We are taught to embrace humility and diversity. We can understand why, in seeking America’s highest office, you have used your degree from Wharton to promote and lend legitimacy to your candidacy.

As a candidate for President, and now as the presumptive GOP nominee, you have been afforded a transformative opportunity to be a leader on national and international stages and to make the Wharton community even prouder of our school and values.

However, we have been deeply disappointed in your candidacy.

We, proud students, alumni, and faculty of Wharton, are outraged that an affiliation with our school is being used to legitimize prejudice and intolerance. Although we do not aim to make any political endorsements with this letter, we do express our unequivocal stance against the xenophobia, sexism, racism, and other forms of bigotry that you have actively and implicitly endorsed in your campaign.

The Wharton community is a diverse community. We are immigrants and children of immigrants, people of color, Muslims, Jews, women, people living with or caring for those with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ community. In other words, we represent the groups that you have repeatedly denigrated, as well as their steadfast friends, family, and allies.

We recognize that we are fortunate to be educated at Wharton, and we are committed to using our opportunity to make America and the world a better place — for everyone. We are dedicated to promoting inclusion not only because diversity and tolerance have been repeatedly proven to be valuable assets to any organization’s performance, but also because we believe in mutual respect and human dignity as deeply held values. Your insistence on exclusion and scapegoating would be bad for business and bad for the American economy. An intolerant America is a less productive, less innovative, and less competitive America.

We, the undersigned Wharton students, alumni, and faculty, unequivocally reject the use of your education at Wharton as a platform for promoting prejudice and intolerance. Your discriminatory statements are incompatible with the values that we are taught and we teach at Wharton, and we express our unwavering commitment to an open and inclusive American society.

This letter reflects the personal views and opinions of the signatories only and is not affiliated with the Wharton School. The Wharton School takes no political position and does not comment on its students, alumni, or faculty.


How can I sign the open letter?

Please follow this link to add your signature.

How can I see who else has signed this open letter?

See all the signatures here: https://goo.gl/44gOXB

Why should Wharton students, alumni, and faculty sign?

On the presidential campaign trail, Donald Trump has frequently cited his education at Wharton. In fact, an internet search for Wharton and Trump now garners over half a million hits.

Given that Wharton as an institution cannot make any political statements, we want to make clear through this letter that Donald Trump’s incitements of prejudice and intolerance do not represent what students are taught at Wharton.

As proud Wharton students, alumni, and faculty, we want to voice our commitment to fostering an open, respectful, inclusive, and tolerant community at Wharton — and beyond. Not only do we stand by our fellow students, faculty, and alumni who may have been targets of Donald Trump’s hateful statements, but we express our solidarity with members of these communities beyond Wharton, regardless of their affiliation with the school.

Is this a political endorsement?

No, the letter is not an endorsement of a specific candidate. Speaking out against prejudice and intolerance, particularly from Wharton students and alumni, transcends political affiliation.

Is this an official statement from Wharton?

No. This letter reflects the personal views and opinions of the signatories only and is not affiliated with The Wharton School. The Wharton School takes no political position and does not comment on its students, alumni, or faculty.

Who wrote this letter?

A group of Wharton students, alumni, and faculty who are proud to be affiliated with Wharton and are deeply disappointed by Donald Trump’s representation and reflection of Wharton during the presidential campaign.

Where will this letter be published?

We are targeting major media outlets.


Will my name appear publicly if I sign? Can I sign anonymously?

Yes, your name will appear on the open letter if you sign. Yes, signing anonymously is an option.

Can I sign if I am not a Wharton student, alumni, or faculty (i.e., partner or parent)?

We absolutely welcome support from the broader Wharton community.

I’m interested in spreading the word and helping to publish the letter. How can I help?

Please contact [email protected].

Posted in: Fridays from the Frontline, MBA News, News, Weekly Columns

Schools: UPenn / Wharton

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