Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has often invoked his Ivy League business education throughout his campaign in order to assure American voters that he is well-qualified to occupy the highest office in the land.
But students and alumni from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, Trump's alma mater, released an open letter Friday to let the country know that they in no way support the candidate.
This photo shows the program for the May, 20, 1968, graduation commencement at the University of Pennsylvania. Donald Trump'�s name is listed among students receiving a bachelor of science degree in economics from the Wharton School. (AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz)
More than 2,000 students, alumni and faculty signed the letter titled, "You Do Not Represent Us: An Open Letter to Donald Trump."
The students began their message by noting that they understand why Trump would use his degree from Wharton to "promote and lend legitimacy" to his campaign. "However, we have been deeply disappointed in your candidacy," they wrote.
“We, proud students, alumni, and faculty of Wharton, are outraged that an affiliation with our school is being used to legitimize prejudice and intolerance,” the letter states. “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.
The letter concludes with a demand for Trump to stop associating his political values with those of the Wharton community:
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.
Philadelphia Magazine reported last month that no current employees or faculty in the Wharton school have donated money to Trump’s campaign.
Wharton school junior Jennifer Knewbach, UPenn's College Republicans president, told USA Today College that only a “small minority” of club members support Trump's candidacy.