Two More Schools Rescind Honorary BU Alum Bill Cosby’s Degrees

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Photo via AP

Photo via AP

Things just keep getting worse for honorary Boston University alum Bill Cosby.

Brown University announced late Monday it would be rescinding the honorary Doctor of Letters it awarded the alleged serial rapist of more than 50 women. This marks the first time in the Ivy League school’s 251-year history that an honorary degree has been yanked back.

“It has become clear, by his own admission in legal depositions that became public this summer, that Mr. Cosby has engaged in conduct with women that is contrary to the values of Brown and the qualities for which he was honored by the University in 1985,” President Christina Paxson wrote in an email to the Brown community.

Late last week, Marquette University rescinded the degree they presented Cosby. From President Michael Lovell and Provost Daniel Myers’ email to students:

As the president and provost of Marquette University, we are writing to inform you that earlier today, we presented a resolution to the Board of Trustees to rescind the honorary degree granted to Bill Cosby in 2013. The Board approved that resolution, and the degree is rescinded immediately. Over the past several weeks, we’ve had extensive conversations with campus leaders and faculty members who showed overwhelming support for the action our board took today.

By his own admission, Mr. Cosby engaged in behaviors that go entirely against our university’s mission and the Guiding Values we have worked so hard to instill on our campus.

Every day, we live these values by challenging our students to integrate knowledge and faith into their real-life decisions in ways that will shape their lives.

With those values in mind, let us all remember that the foundations on which our great university was built remain as important today as ever.

Marquette is the second Jesuit school to renounce Cosby, following Fordham University’s revocation—the first in the school’s 174-year history.

Boston University, in case you’ve forgotten, awarded Cosby an honorary degree in May 2014—a year after Marquette, and after a number of alleged victims had publicly accused the man BU President Robert Brown called “an educator, by word and example.” Since then, the revocations have come from schools higher than BU on the U.S. News college rankings, as well as schools lower; inside New England, and outside; schools Cosby attended, schools he did not.

And yet, no one on John Silber Way has shown the courage needed to hit “send” on an email like those sent by administrators at Fordham, Marquette, and Brown.

Source URL: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/2015/09/29/bill-cosby-brown-university/