ASU's Origins Project received $2 million from associates of Jeffrey Epstein

Leon and Debra Black gave three separate donations to the project between 2014 and 2015

ASU received over $2 million from groups associated with billionaire and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, according to reporting from Buzzfeed.

The money was given to the Origins Project, which was led by former ASU professor Lawrence Krauss, who left the University following his own sexual misconduct allegations. 

According to donation documents from the Origins Project obtained by Buzzfeed, Epstein and his associates made nine separate donations between December 2010 to April 2017 totaling to $2.25 million to the organization.

Epstein's individual donations totaled $250,000 and were made through Enhanced Education, one of his foundations. The other $2 million was donated by two of Epstein's associates, Leon and Debra Black. 

Read more: Former ASU professor Lawrence Krauss received $250,000 from Jeffrey Epstein

An ASU spokesperson confirmed in an email to The State Press that Leon and Debra Black donated $2 million to the Origins Project between 2014 and 2015. 

The money was given in three separate personal donations from the Black family. Leon Black donated a total of $1.5 million in two separate donations and Debra Black gave a one-time donation of $500,000. 

The Origins Project was founded by Krauss in 2008 and worked to bring scientists to ASU to speak at conferences and host various events. Following Krauss' departure, the project lost its name and shifted under the ASU Interplanetary Initiative, which is led by Lindy Elkins-Tanton, director of the School of Earth and Space Exploration.

Read More: ASU’s Origins Project to move under Interplanetary Initiative

Krauss did not respond to an email requesting comment. Epstein died by suicide earlier this month. 


Reach the reporter at bstoshne@asu.edu and follow @itsbrennaaaa on Twitter. 

Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on Twitter.


Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.