Dear Brown and White:
This is in response to the lead article of Feb. 9 “Will Lehigh dump Trump?” I can duly understand the consternation over this year’s political candidates and the two main parties, but Mr. Trump has done nothing wrong of an egregious sort.
Indeed, I believe that the rescindment of Bill Cosby’s honorary degree as still controversial. We in this country are so often proud that we hold people “innocent until proven guilty.” Mr. Cosby has never been convicted of anything although, evidently, admitting to wrongdoing under oath.
A further issue with Mr. Cosby is that his 1987 speech Commencement speech was filled with several controversial or derogatory remarks (about youth, the graduating class). Albeit, this was during a time when African-Americans were still struggling to find a position in society, to be recognized, etc. Nonetheless, the comments were ill-received.
In contrast, Mr. Trump, though often boisterous and exaggerated, yes, really has done little wrong of late of a legal sort, even of a moral sort. Are we to turn honorary degrees into popularity contests? A fatuous concept! As I attended during these years, and as a resident of New York State, I remember Mr. Trump making kind remarks about Lehigh at the time, saying that he had a close relative who “always spoke well of it.”
Please, therefore, let us drop this dialogue, and recognize the sanctity and dignity of any degree awarded by our university.
– John G. Lewis ’90