Jennifer Gwynne, a junior at the University of Pennsylvania, met Elon Musk at an adviser meeting.
Musk, then a senior served as an RA in a freshman dorm, which was next to the one Gwynne managed. One day, he knocked at her door.
“He showed up at my room with some Chinese food and asked if he could come in,”She spoke. “And I’m like ‘Of course, if you brought me food.’ ”
Within a few weeks, the two became an item and dated for nearly a year, from 1994 to 1995, taking trips to Toronto to visit Musk’s family and to Rhode Island, to visit Gwynne’s family.
However, Musk graduated and moved on to California. Gwynne visited Musk once before she returned home to Philly to finish school. The relationship fell apart.
“I go on record that it was mutual, because I don’t remember getting dumped,” Gwynne said. “We left on great terms.”
Gwynne has seen her ex-boyfriend, a high-profile figure, find company after company in the years that followed. TeslaTo SpaceX. Musk was the top performer in this year’s poll. Forbes’ World’s Billionaires list With an estimated net worth $219 billion
So what’s it like to see your ex become the richest person in the world?
“Life is just weird,” Gwynne said. “It’s hard to explain how weird it is, but to me, he is just my first college boyfriend.”
Now Gwynne, who lives in Columbia, S.C., and works for a large medical supply company helping to launch new products, is auctioning off photos and mementos of her time with Musk, in part, to help fund her 13-year-old stepson’s college tuition one day.
After seeing the movie, she was inspired to do it.A story in December about how a homework assignment Musk graded while he was a teaching assistant at Penn’s Wharton School brought in $7,753 at an online auction by RR Auction of Boston.
“I ran upstairs and said ‘What do I have?’” Gwynne recalled. “With his media presence, I’ll get the most ROI right now. As a Wharton grad, he’ll appreciate that.”
Gwynne is currently auctioning a number of items Through RR AuctionThere are over a dozen unpublished photos of Musk, including one in a Judge Dredd T shirt, one in an emerald necklace, and one in his tuxedo. One of Musk is also wearing a trench coat while he holds a gallon worth of orange juice. Gwynne is also selling an original Musk emerald necklace and a card that he signed, in which he wrote. “Happy Birthday Jennifer (aka Boo-Boo) Love Elon.”
Gwynne answered the question “Boo-Boo” when asked if it was his nickname for her. “It was after I needled him for not calling me something sweet.”
Did she even have a Musk nickname?
“Oh God no,” Gwynne said. “He was Elon.”
Bobby Livingston, executive vice president of RR Auction, said Gwynne’s collection is unique because there’s not a lot of Musk material in the marketplace.
“This gives you an insight into Elon Musk that you just don’t see. The way he interacts with the public now he’s a towering figure in our world and … here he is a college student having great time with his girlfriend,”Livingston said. “These are just fabulous clues into the personality of Elon Musk.”
Gwynne, who graduated in 1996 from Penn with a degree of English literature, said Musk was intense and focused on the future when they were dating.
“He talked about electric cars, he talked about alternate fuel sources. It was inspiring,”She spoke. “Penn is full of very smart people but there was something singular about his passion.”
Sometimes, however, she might be able to see a “boy-like nature” in him.
“He was just a goof from time to time,”She spoke. “He wasn’t very affectionate out in public, but he was all for quiet cuddles and hanging out together.”
Over the holidays in 1994, the two traveled to Canada, where Gwynne met Musk’s brother at Queen’s College in Kingston, and his mother, Maye, at her apartment in Toronto.
“Though we have wildly different backgrounds, I found Elon’s connection with his family and the support of his mom was something that attracted me to him,”She spoke. “Elon is a force in and of himself, but I know he gets a lot of that from Maye.”
During the visit, Musk brought Gwynne into his mother’s bedroom, where she had “a bunch” of emerald necklaces which he told her were from his father’s emerald mine in South Africa. Gwynne was given one by him as a gift.
“Talk about a crazy story,”She spoke. “It’s one of my core memories.”
After Musk graduated from Penn in 1995, he moved to California, but the two kept in touch during Gwynne’s summer abroad in London that year. When she returned from London, she visited Musk in Palo Alto. He was living in a two-story apartment and attending pitch meetings.
“I went to see him as he was literally starting everything at that point,”She spoke. “It was an interesting moment in his life.”
But after Gwynne came back to Philly for her senior year, their long-distance relationship ended because Musk didn’t like talking on the phone. She hasn’t spoken to him since.
Gwynne, who was married in 2020, stated that her husband is “really cool”Her famous ex.
The highest bids for the signed card were $5,643 and the emerald pendant at $3,384 as of Thursday. Some photos are up for sale at several hundred dollars each, such as a funny Musk upside down picture that is up to $520.
Livingston said that he is happy with the bidding so it has been, but that he expects it get more. “quite higher”As the auction draws to a close.
Gwynne said she didn’t keep any mementos of her time with Musk for herself; everything she had is up for sale.
“This is all I got. This and my memories,”She spoke. “And I really do have fond memories.”