At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, dozens of students and faculty are calling for President Rafael Reif to resign after an outside law firm discovered Reif was aware some professors were quietly accepting money from convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

“Reif! Reif! You can’t hide!” protesters on campus chanted as they marched to the president’s office on Friday. “We demand that you resign!”

The scandal unfolding at MIT is raising questions about colleges soliciting and vetting donors, anonymous or named. MIT and Harvard University say they are reviewing their current procedures. A college development specialist said that anonymous donations are rare, but even in such cases, a finance officer knows who made them.

Emails reveal Joi Ito, the former director of MIT's celebrated Media Lab, took more money from Jeffrey Epstein than he and the university had previously admitted to, and he tried to hide the source of that money from administrators by marking it as anonymous, according an articlepublished in the New Yorker.

Lab employees went as far as to refer to the convicted pedophile who killed himself in his jail cell last month as “Voldemort” and "he who must not be named," according to the article.

On campus, students like senior Mauri Diaz said they’re disappointed but not surprised.

“When you’re first introduced to the Media Lab, it’s like this cool creative space, and everybody is working to make the world a better place,” Diaz said. “But there’s this more internal moral rot.”

Diaz and others say the revelations should prompt colleges and universities to do some soul-searching — to examine their willingness to take donations from wealthy people who oppose their values.

College administrators, though, say concealing anonymous donations in higher education is still quite rare.

"But it certainly does happen,” said Linda Durant, vice president for development at Council for Advancement and Support of Education, which represents college development officers, including at MIT and Harvard. “Often it does depend on the size of the gift, but probably more importantly, it's about the donor."

Durant said that unlike Epstein, most anonymous donors are not seeking glory or recognition. They don't want their names plastered in big shiny letters on buildings. Others don't want to be targeted by other nonprofit organizations.

Still, Durant said, donations are never truly anonymous because colleges record gifts in a private database.

"Then the finance office would be informed of the gift,” Durant explained. “Depending on the purpose of the gift then there might be an agreement, but what is always kept track of is, if it's anonymous, then we really honor that individual's wishes."

Harvard also received gifts totaling at least $9 million from Epstein between 1998 and 2007. In 2003, before his first conviction, Epstein publicly donated $6.5 million to Harvard's Program for Evolutionary Dynamics. At the time, Epstein told Vanity Fair that he was reluctant to have his name attached to that program, but then-Harvard President Larry Summers persuaded him.

Several current staff members of Harvard who declined to give their names due to fears of retribution tell WGBH News that when Drew Faust took over as president in July 2007, she banned the school from taking any more money from Epstein.

Harvard would not officially confirm that, but last week President Larry Bacow said he had called for a review of all Epstein donations, including any that might have been given anonymously.

“The majority of Epstein’s gifts were designated for current use, not as endowed funds, and nearly all were spent years ago for their intended purposes in support of research and education,” Bacow wrote in a letter.

Bacow said the university has decided to redirect the unspent donations — $186,000 — to organizations that support victims of human trafficking and sexual assault. The university is also reviewing how it vets donors.

“There have always been individuals from whom it’s clear that it would not be a wise thing to take money,” said Harvard History Professor Bill Kirby, who was dean of faculty at Harvard when Epstein made his donation to the evolutionary program.

Kirby believes Harvard has established strong checks and balances. He recalls one proposal for the restoration of 17 Russian monastery bells in the tower of Harvard’s Lowell House. The bells have hung there ever since bell-ringing was banned throughout Stalin's Soviet Union.

“We decided not to take funds from a Russian gentleman, who by most accounts appeared to be a gangster,” Kirby said. “It isn’t as if there’s a large and long list of such bad donors, but you have to be always very careful from whom you solicit funds and from whom you take funds.”

That’s because the biggest hazard for wealthy universities like Harvard and MIT is potential damage to their reputations.

“The risk of taking a gift that will injure the reputation of the university is a much higher one than not getting money at all,” Kirby said, adding that institutional scrutiny kicks if a gift encourages actions that the university does not allow. “For example, a gift that would somehow constrain academic freedom or a gift that would constrain intellectual property rights, then it has to get full scrutiny.”

Earlier this month, Ito resigned as director of the MIT Media Lab. The university declined to comment for this story, including any response to some students' call for Reif to resign. But in a letter to the campus community, Reif acknowledged he had signed a standard thank you letter to Epstein in 2012 — about six weeks into his presidency.

“Although I do not recall it, it does bear my signature,” Reif said.

Reif also said it's now clear that senior members of his administration knew of gifts — anonymous or otherwise — from Epstein’s foundations.

WGBH News' Phillip Martin and Tori Bedford contributed to this report.