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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Harvard University says it's reviewing donations from disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein and will donate all unspent funding to victims of sexual crimes.
University President Lawrence Bacow announced the review Thursday but says he ordered it two weeks ago. He said Epstein's connections to Harvard and other colleges raise "important concerns."
Bacow says Harvard received nearly $9 million from Epstein between 1998 and 2007 but rejected a gift after Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting a minor for prostitution in Florida.
Most of Epstein's donations have been spent, but a remaining $186,000 will be given to groups benefiting victims of sexual crimes.
The president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology also acknowledged Thursday that he signed a letter thanking the late, disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein for a donation to a professor.
MIT President L. Rafael Reif called the letter to Epstein a "standard acknowledgment letter" in a statement to the university community posted on its website.
"I apparently signed this letter on August 16, 2012, about six weeks into my presidency. Although I do not recall it, it does bear my signature," he said.
Reif's revelation came out of an independent investigation by Goodwin Procter, the outside law firm retained to investigate the facts surrounding MIT's ties to Epstein.
The investigation was launched after an uproar over the MIT Media Lab's close ties to Epstein that led to lab director's resignation.
Director Joi Ito's resignation came after The New Yorker reported that the Media Lab had a more extensive fundraising relationship with Epstein than it previously acknowledged and tried to conceal the extent of the relationship.
Epstein killed himself in jail in August while awaiting trial for federal sex-trafficking charges. His ties to academia are being scrutinized amid revelations about his ties to MIT.
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