PA-- Students want Bill Cosby's degrees revoked

For immediate release: Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015

Statement by Melanie Jula Sakoda of Moraga, CA, East Bay Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (925-708-6175, [email protected])

Last week, students at Swarthmore College joined students at Boston University and Yale in questioning why their schools haven’t rescinded the honorary degrees they have awarded to entertainer Bill Cosby.    

(In December, Cosby resigned his position as a trustee at his alma mater, Temple University.)

We applaud these calls to action. A dishonorable man doesn’t deserve an honorary degree. We hope that the 18 colleges and universities that have previously honored Cosby will reconsider their actions. (A list of the educational institutions is pasted below.)

Sexual predators are often powerful men who know that their victims are intimidated by their status, and fearful that they won’t be believed if they come forward. These colleges and universities have an opportunity to send a strong message to all survivors of sexual assault by supporting the outcry of the women who have accused Cosby of sexual assault. By rescinding the honorary degrees, it will be clear that these women have been heard, and believed.

We especially call on the schools that honored Cosby after 2005 to move quickly. That year, several of Cosby’s alleged victims made national headlines. So Boston University, Marquette University, Virginia Commonwealth University and Carnegie Mellon University all chose to give Cosby a degree despite knowing about these serious accusations against him.

All of these educational institutions have a simple choice, they can take action to help victims and expose predators, or they can take no action, hurt victims and help predators. We urge them to side with wounded survivors of sexual violence and against a credibly accused serial predator who faces at least 33 allegations.


Cosby has received honorary degrees from the following colleges and universities:

Boston University, May 18, 2014

Marquette University, May 19, 2013

Virginia Commonwealth University, December 5, 2008.

Carnegie Mellon University, May 20, 2007.

Berklee College of Music, May 8, 2004.

Baylor University, September 4, 2003.

Yale University, May 26, 2003.

Sisseton Wahpeton College, 2003.

West Chester University of Pennsylvania, 2003

Haverford College, May 2002.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2001.

University of Cincinnati, 2001.

Amherst College, May 1999.

Colgate University, May 22, 1999.

University of Southern California, May 8, 1998.

University of Connecticut, May 18, 1996.

Swarthmore College, 1995.

University of Pennsylvania, 1990.   

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