Top critic of college presidents hosts fundraiser for Chris Christie

WASHINGTON — Billionaire hedge fund investor Bill Ackman, a leading public critic of university presidents who failed to condemn calls for genocide against Jews during a congressional hearing last week, was scheduled to co-host a fundraiser for Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie Thursday at a New York law firm, according to an invitation.

The founder of Pershing Square Capital Management previously gave the maximum $3,300 primary donation to Christie’s campaign in September — and he’s contributed the same to two other presidential candidates, according to Federal Election Commission records. Ackman gave to Christie primary rival Vivek Ramaswamy in April and to Robert F. Kennedy, who is seeking the Oval Office as an independent, in June.

Ackman has quickly become a more prominent figure in national politics as a leading advocate for the ouster of college presidents perceived to be insufficiently intolerant of antisemitism at their universities.

“Bill Ackman is an important voice in the business world and the ongoing fight against antisemitism on college campuses,” Christie senior adviser Doug Mayer said. “Donors like him understand that the truth is important and that Chris Christie isn’t afraid to tell it.”

Ackman, a Harvard graduate and major contributor to the school, has called for the removal of its president, Claudine Gay, along with Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Sally Kornbluth. Over the weekend, Liz Magill, resigned as president of the University of Pennsylvania amid a backlash to her testimony. And on Wednesday, the U.S. House voted 303-126 for a resolution condemning antisemitism on campuses and expressing the sense of the body that Gay and Kornbluth should take a cue from Magill’s resignation and “follow suit.”

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