The Philly College Dishonor Roll
Donald Trump’s not the only ignominious alum you won’t hear about on local campus tours.
Over the course of its 278 years, the University of Pennsylvania has racked up plenty of famous alumni: Elon Musk! John Legend! Bring up a certain Donald J. Trump, though, and you’re liable to get hit with a “No comment.” But Penn’s hardly the only local institution with an infamous alumnus or two. (See: Bill Cosby and Temple.) Here, eight folks who don’t turn up in the official college brochures:
1. Tim Donaghy
Later misdeeds: As an NBA referee, gave advice to gamblers and bet on games he officiated.
Quotable: Former ’Nova baseball coach Larry Shane, who knew Donaghy as a boy, told the New York Times: “He didn’t have a good relationship with other kids on the block. He was a small, frail kid.”
2. Kathleen Kane
Institution: Temple Law
Later misdeeds: As PA attorney general, leaked secret grand jury information to the press, then perjured herself. An appeals panel recently upheld her 2016 conviction.
Temple statements: Since proudly announcing her as its 2013 commencement speaker, Temple Law has been very quiet about Kane.
3. Ira Einhorn
Later misdeeds: In 1977, Einhorn murdered an ex-girlfriend and, pending trial, fled to Europe for nearly two decades until his extradition and conviction. Einhorn was a cult figure of sorts while at Penn, teaching a series of free courses that included “Analogues to the LSD Experience.”
Quotable: Penn prof Stuart Samuels, a character witness at Einhorn’s 1979 bail hearing, told the student paper: “I’ve found him lovable, warm, compassionate.”
4. Chris Harn
Years attended: 1991-’97
Major: Information systems.
Later misdeeds: With two fellow frat bros, manipulated an online horse-betting system and won $3 million from the Breeders’ Cup in 2002. The bets raised suspicion, and all three went to prison.
Quotable: A frat pledge told the WaPo that Harn got him out of chores and “let me go drink with him in his room.” Sounds like a nice guy!
5. Frances Schreuder
Institution: Bryn Mawr
Years attended: 1956-’58
Later misdeeds: Schreuder was, per the New York Times, forced out at Bryn Mawr for theft and writing fake checks. Fearing being written out of the family will, she pressured her son to shoot her father. Schreuder still ended up inheriting some family money after her 13-year prison sentence.
6. Ross Ulbricht
Institution: Penn State
Degree: Master’s, materials science and engineering.
Later misdeeds: Founded Silk Road, a “dark web” marketplace that facilitated upwards of $200 million in sales of illicit substances. Serving life without parole.
7. Kermit Gosnell
Later misdeeds: Convicted in 2013 on three counts of first-degree murder for gruesome, medically unsafe late-term “abortions” at his West Philly clinic.
8. Michael Milken
Degree: Wharton MBA.
Later misdeeds: Milken, inventor of “junk bonds,” served two years in the 1990s for federal securities fraud.
Quotable: In 2007, Wharton’s alumni mag published a glowing story on Milken’s innovations: “New Financial Models Can Change the World.” Not technically wrong!
Published as “Dishonor Roll” in the July 2018 issue of Philadelphia magazine.