College revokes Bill Cosby’s honorary degree after conviction

In May 1996, Bill Cosby was awarded an honorary degree by Lafayette.

In October 2015, President Alison Byerly called the allegations against Cosby “shocking, disappointing and appalling,” but added that revoking honorary degrees is a “technical question to do with college policy,” The Lafayette reported. Byerly added at the time that “Cosby receiving this award was an event that happened in the past.”

This past week, the college rescinded the honor.

“In light of his conviction yesterday on multiple charges of aggravated indecent assault, the Board of Trustees has voted to revoke the honorary degree awarded to William H. Cosby in May 1996,” Byerly wrote.

Cosby was convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault in Montgomery County.

Other universities such as Yale and Temple have similarly acted in response to the conviction and rescinded honorary degrees given to Cosby. This is the first time that Yale has ever retracted the honor.

Many institutions, including Lehigh University which revoked his degree in October 2015, chose to rescind soon after the allegations came to light.

About Kathryn Kelly

Kathryn Kelly '19 is the editor-in-chief of The Lafayette. She studies government & law and Classics.

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