My1sttoday: Lehigh University withdraws Trump’s honorary degree following Capitol riots. Lehigh University’s Board of Trustees announced on Friday that it voted to revoke an honorary degree awarded to President Trump in 1988.
The move came following the board’s special session on Thursday, a day after Pro-Trump’s supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol in protest of his electoral loss. However, the board offered no other details.
A message from the Board of Trustees: pic.twitter.com/SbRn0HUv7X
— Lehigh University (@LehighU) January 8, 2021
Lehigh President John Simon condemned the riots in Washington, D.C, in a statement this week, calling it a “violent assault on the foundations of our democracy – the abiding respect for the will of the people exercised in a free election and the peaceful transfer of power.”
“I sincerely hope we can turn the sadness and anger that the lawlessness in our nation’s capital has evoked into motivation to make out nation more just,” Simon wrote.
A message from President Simon: pic.twitter.com/lPc4vPCTSQ
— Lehigh University (@LehighU) January 7, 2021
The school, located in Bethlehem, Pa., honored Trump when he was a prominent real estate mogul and author of “The Art of the Deal.” His late brother, Fred Trump, had graduated from Lehigh in 1962.
The businessman arrived to the June 1988 commencement by landing on the baseball field in a black helicopter displaying the name “Trump” in big letters, according to The Morning Call.
Then-Lehigh President Peter Likins introduced him as “a symbol of our age – all the daring and energy that the word tycoon conjures up. His boldness of vision and the splendor of his buildings … are like a designer label on the skyline of New York.”
Since Trump entered politics, Lehigh alumni, staff and students have called for the title to be pulled.
Multiple petitions have been circulating since Trump won the 2016 election, according to the university’s student newspaper, The Brown and White. One petition in 2017 collected more than 30,000 signatures.
However, the Board of Trustees at the time decided to take “no action” on the push, saying at the time that the university “encourages respectful dialogue, discussion and learning about important societal issues.”
Faculty members attempted again in 2018 to rescind the honorary degree.
Twitter users criticized university leadership for only taking action days before Trump leaves office.
It is mind blowing that people had to die before this action was taken. I hope The BOT undertakes some serious soul searching going forward, Prof Kart tweeted.
Brice tweeted, You owe an apology to your BIPOC students, alumni, faculty, and staff who you’ve let down. We’ve asked you many times to do this and you decided that money was more important than the values you’ve established. I know LU’s a business but damn y’all really don’t care about us.
Drew also tweeted, Embarrassing that this took so long. This now seems to fall within the same category as the meaningless resignations going on. The issues have been clearly presented for years. Shameful that a university of this caliber, and my alma mater, could fail to act for so long.
The step came after Trump, during remarks on Wednesday to supporters on the Ellipse, encouraged them to march to the Capitol to urge lawmakers not to certify the Electoral College votes for President elect Biden.
Meanwhile, some of the Pro-Trump’s supporters who participated in Capitol Hill attack are reportedly lost their jobs after social media users identifies them.