Swarthmore Rescinds Bill Cosby's Honorary Degree

Clothier Hall

At its meeting this weekend, Swarthmore's Board of Managers adopted the recommendation of both the Honorary Degree Committee and the faculty of the College to rescind the honorary degree Swarthmore conferred on Bill Cosby in 1995. This rescission is effective immediately.  

In a community message, President Valerie Smith said:

"Mr. Cosby has testified in a deposition under oath, which was made public in July, that he routinely and premeditatively drugged women before having sex with them. We find that his admitted personal behaviors are wholly inconsistent with our institutional values – and ones we would never want our own students or graduates to emulate.  

​"The deliberations of the Honorary Degree Committee were thorough and wide ranging. In the end, the committee, and the faculty during its meeting on Nov. 20, felt that the personal behaviors Mr. Cosby admitted to are so egregious that we cannot let the degree stand. The Board agreed."