Marquette University rescinds honorary degree for Bill Cosby amid sexual assault allegations
MILWAUKEE — In a letter issued to members of the Marquette University community, MU President Michael Lovell and MU Provost Daniel Myers announced on Thursday, September 24th the university is rescinding an honorary degree issued to comedian Bill Cosby.
The message from Lovell and Myers reads as follows:
Dear members of the Marquette community,
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 The Board approved that resolution, and the degree is rescinded immediately.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.
Michael R. Lovell
Daniel J. Myers
This comes after more than two dozen women have accused Bill Cosby of sexually assaulting them — sometimes after they had been drugged.
A defamation suit in Massachusetts and a civil sexual-assault case in California are pending.
A California judge has ordered Bill Cosby to give a sworn deposition in a civil suit that alleges he sexually abused a teenage girl more than 40 years ago.
Judith Huth claims she was 15 years old when she was sexually assaulted by Cosby at the Playboy Mansion in 1974.
The court order says Cosby must answer questions under oath from Huth’s legal team on October 9th. She will face questions from Cosby’s attorneys six day later on October 15th.
Cosby, who has never been charged with a crime, has acknowledged having sex with many women and obtaining Quaaludes to use during sex. He has denied some of the claims.
The deposition dates back to 2005 and 2006. In it, Cosby was questioned under oath by the attorney for Andrea Constand, who had accused the actor of rape.
While Cosby admitted during questioning that he acquired Quaaludes with the intent to give the sedatives to young women he wanted to have sex with, he did not admit to actually drugging any of his accusers.
In addition to the action taken by MU on Thursday, TMZ reports Fordham University has destroyed the honorary degree given to the comedian back in 2001.
TMZ reports that during a Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday, Fordham President Joseph McShane introduced a motion to cut Cosby’s doctorate — and board members unanimously agreed.
This is the first time in Fordham history a person has lost an honorary degree.
In a statement to students, the school said, “The University has taken this extraordinary step in light of Mr. Cosby’s now-public court depositions that confirm many of the allegations made against him.”
Spelman College cut ties with Cosby in July.